Ins and Outs

As the seasons, so go our lives.

Here in Texas we had a brutally cold winter followed by a miserably hot summer. When we’re cold we yearn for the warm, and when we’re hot we dream of fresh, cool breezes.

A couple of years ago I had more work than I could say grace over. it seemed like I just got out of the car in one city and then it was time to move on to the next. I think I complained a lot at that time about “never having time to breathe” – something like that.

Now I spend my time talking about not having enough work. I know it’s not just me; I think we are programmed as a race to always want more, always look to the next thing.

In the 70s, a guru named Ram Dass wrote “Be Here Now”, which became sort of the catch phrase for the hippie movement (of which I was a fringe member, never quite brave enough to be a real hippie). Now it seems so dated, but the sentiment is true and honorable. Centuries before, Jesus said, “Do not worry about tomorrow – tomorrow has enough worries of its own”.

I’m committed to that today. I’m going to be here now. And then I’m going to bed. Here’s hoping for a better year for all my storyteller and ventriloquist friends who are slogging through a tough economy!

A Series of Firsts

Life is a series of firsts; your first tooth, your first steps, your first kiss, your first child. I have been thinking of this recently because my granddaughter Veronica had her first day of fifth grade and my grandson James had his first haircut.

My first grade teacher was Miss Nichols at Lewisville Elementary School, my first date was to see the Harlem Globetrotters with David Bailey, and my first car was a 62 Corvair Convertible that I wish I still owned. (Don’t we all wish we still owned that first car)

My first ventriloquism show was for my daughter Emily’s kindergarten class at Baccus Elementary. I’m sure I was awful, but the kids LOVED it, and I was hooked. A chance encounter with Dennis Lee led me to the fabulous puppetmaker Verna Finly and the start to a career.

Would I have become a ventriloquist without that chance encounter… who knows? I certainly loved it as a child. I adored Shari Lewis and Lambchop and loved Senor Wences on the Ed Sullivan Show with his sweet puppet Topo Gigio. My own Waco owes much to that little mouse, both in character and body. But me – a ventriloquist? I would never have dreamed it.

I hope that I have many more firsts in my life, through my children and grandchildren and hopefully some day even my great grandchildren. I would love to see a bunch of new faces and new schools this year for the first time. If you know of someone looking for a fun, professional, educational assembly program – send them my way!