Chester Chatter: Becoming a puppet master

By Ruthie Douglas
© 2020 Telegraph Publishing LLC

Our fourth grade teacher kept us busy with fun projects. One morning she announced we kids would be making puppets. My heart sank. I was not good at art or any kind of handicrafts.

We would start making puppets the next day and, she added, “wear old clothes.” Next morning she handed out sheets of newspaper. “Now tear them up in small pieces and then throw them into buckets.” she told us. The buckets contained wallpaper paste – quite thick. We would let them set for the weekend, she said.

The weekend was long for me. I worried about how I was to make a puppet out of that mess. With long-handle spoons, we stirred the mess. Now the teacher told us to form a ball, like a snowball. She then told us to create a face on the ball and make the ball fit on your finger.

We sat our puppets to dry on the window sill. Once they dried, we would paint their faces. My face had a fat nose and bushy eyebrows and I made some ears. Yarn became hair.

That was not the end. We needed to write a play that would use our collection. It was not easy. Somehow I became the M.C. Even back then I talked too much.

We made a stage out of a large box and someone’s mother made curtains.

The day arrived, and our mothers came to our debut performance. We served Kool-Aid, cheese and crackers.

The mothers loved us, they clapped and clapped. Despite my misgivings, all turned out well.

Heard and scene

Much sympathy to Shirley Barrett on the death of her mother Wilhelmina Allen.

We are also thinking about the family of Mary Fraser upon her recent death.

The Springfield High School Class of 1959 met for lunch on Friday.

Yeah, the woodchuck says spring is on the way. A unique Sunday with the Super Bowl and Groundhog Day was on 02 – 02 – 2020, which is the first palindrome day in more than 900 years. A palindrome reads the same backward and forward and the next one will be 12/12/2121

Street Talk

On Sunday, will you watch the Super Bowl football game?

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Filed Under: Chester ChatterCommunity and Arts Life

About the Author: Ruthie Douglas is originally from Springfield but has called Chester her home for 58 years, and has been writing the Chester Chatter column for more than 40 of those years. Ruthie is also a longtime volunteer throughout the community.

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