Puppet Shows

One idea I had that kept the boys busy was to make papier-mâché. It took most of a day to tear up newspaper in strips and then we soaked them over night. The next day we squeezed out as much of the moisture as we could, then mixed in home made paste, and we were ready to make “things.”

This was in the day when soda pop came in bottles with the long neck on them. We put a square of material over the neck of the bottle, then used the papier-mâché to mold puppet heads. That took a few more days, and of course, we had to let them dry.

We had lots of watercolour paint around, so the boys each got to paint their puppets’ heads… even three-year-old Gary, who sat in his highchair for this kind of activity! He painted one all green!  What fun they had!

Ra loved to make up “plays.”   He would record all the different voices on our tape recorder (we only had one tape and it got used over and over). This gave him the freedom to operate all of the characters himself! My husband made a stage setting, and painted different backgrounds for the different shows, and Ra would be in behind the curtain. It had to be late evening so the light on stage would show.

Generic Marionette

We had a kind of patio at the back of the house. A trellis-like fence on two sides, up against the back of the house. That’s where the puppet shows were performed after supper for neighbourhood kids. If the show was still “on” when parents started calling their kids for bedtime, they just called, “Puppet Show” and got permission to stay a little longer.

I just realized something I had forgotten. We had two marionettes. These were the kind that were manipulated with wires and strings… made by my husband and clothed by me. The boys loved watching us operating those two… and we called them Johnny and the giant. I think that’s where JOHNNY AND MR. FREDERICKS, the bedtime stories, originated. Gary still has those two marionettes.

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7 thoughts on “Puppet Shows

  1. How fascinating, Noni! You and your husband were exceptional parents. I think of the movie, “Sound of Music.” I’ve watched that movie at least a dozen times over the years. Now I’ve met the real “Maria!” The nuns sang a song about her. The words included: What do you do with Maria? How do you hold a moonbeam in your hand? Blessings to you, Noni…

  2. Wow, Carol Ann! You are very generous with your comment. I think I had better pour a cup of tea for you before I let your compliment go to my head!

    You know, Carol Ann we didn’t have a lot of money but we both had some talents that allowed us to play with our sons instead of just buying a lot of toys. I remember one Christmas when we made everything they were given, My husband was great at making toys, and I made stuffed animals, They were really happy with what they got. They had a few packages under the tree each year, new underwear, new socks, and new pajamas, and they were happy getting those!

    On the whole, they were happy boys.

    • I doubt that I over complimented you, and I don’t believe you will let it go to your head. Yes, Noni, perhaps we have had too much luxury in the past fifty years, but this era seems to have abruptly ended. Knowing God loves us will keep us from despair. I appreciate your blog, Noni. I don’t always have time to even turn on my computer, and when I do, I read your posts.

  3. Carol Ann, I just went to your blog and I need to send blessings to you in your caregiver role May He sustain you and give you the strength to carry on. My prayers go out for both you and your husband.

  4. Wonderful tale. 🙂 My mom never did these sorts of things or participated in any way – but I recall my father often taking me to the Hobby Hut where he bought items for his trainset. I was sometimes allowed to choose a kit. Oddly enough, I remember picking bird kits. heheheh I put them together, then painted them. After that, they usually disappeared. Funny, I forgot about that part! It’s interesting how we follow a pathway of thought, then see crosspaths we’d forgotten were there. I was going to point that out – then did the same thing myself. 🙂
    Thanks for the visit, Norma. 🙂

  5. good morning Heather. Thanks for coming by, and I hope you enjoyed the tea and cookies. Our minds do some strange things, don’t they? You start to think of something, and you go off on another tangent… to things you had forgotten all about..
    Come back soon, Heather!

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