Posted By Kathleen David on September 24, 2010
He would have been 74
The first time I met Jim Henson was at the ribbon cutting ceremony for the opening of the Center for Puppetry Arts in Atlanta (if you haven’t been there, I highly recommend it). There was a crush of people around Jim who had Kermit the Frog on his arm. Kermit was making comments through out the ceremony. I had snuck up and behind with my little Kodak instamatic camera hoping to get a shot. The crowd was pushing in a friendly way but it was getting a little tight. Jim backed up a bit to get Kermit out of the group in front of them and bumped right into me. All of the sudden I found myself talking to Kermit the Frog who was inquiring if I was OK. I did get a good picture that when I find it again I plan to scan and post.
The second time was at a World Con. I think the one that happened around the release of the Dark Crystal. Jim was doing a question and answer for the children’s track. After answering the kids questions, he took some from the adults who were standing and watching him talk. Jim was great with kids. I raised my hand since I did have a question that I wanted answered. He called on me and I asked, “Whatever happened to the Tales of the Tinkerdee?” He looked stunned. His jaw dropped to his knees but he quickly recovered and said, “That’s an interesting story.” And processed to tell us all about the show that he did which was the beginnings of how the Muppets were done on Television. A lot of what he learned from that he used for all the shows he did from that point on. It was a great story. Later that same convention I was getting ready to get on an elevator to go to a panel I was interested in seeing when I very familiar voice said, “Excuse me.” I turned and it was Jim. He asked how I knew about that show (remember kids this was before Internet and the World Wide Web) and I told him that the gentleman who did the voice over for the show was a friend of the family. He told me that he didn’t have much from that show. The master tape was lost in a move along with a couple of the puppets and the script (before computers and data storage kids). I arranged to get a copy of the audio track to him and gave him enough information that he was able to track down a tape of the work.
So that’s my first two meeting with Jim.
Happy Birthday to the creator and power behind the Muppets who influenced so many of us. We miss still miss ya Jim.
I am grateful that I did meet Jim Henson.