Into every life some giggles must fall, just for sanity’s sake. Puppets and teddy bears always seem to find me, so they deserve their own gallery.
For several years I was a volunteer puppeteer at Children’s National Medical Center in Washington D.C. I was the voice of “Polly Sue Sadnow,” a young girl puppet preparing for her first operation – a tonsillectomy. At the end of the show, children facing upcoming procedures would rapidly gather around the puppets, hug them, and share concerns – all while basically ignoring the humans whose hands made the puppets come alive.
It was a magical time – healing before the surgery that would require healing.
Then, one day, bureaucracy took hold and the powers-that-be decreed that the live show would be better as a video. Children can’t hug a video screen, nor can they tell it their fears and get a direct, soothing, personal reply. An era died.
But the magic of puppets and other stuffed friends still continues today for me, as I usually cart one or more along when visiting the sick, the sad or the lonely – wherever a smile is needed. Regardless of ages involved, arms still reach out for a hug and the smiles aren’t far behind. Meet Bob the Puppet and some of his friends.