Scary and sweet...

Happy Halloween, everyone! Today's adopted dummy is a spooky one! Sparky was made, used, and donated by Scott Bryte, of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Made in 2006, Sparky is bigger than the average dummy; he measures 60 inches from the top of his wooden head to the bottom of his boots! His head opens on hinges and his ears are attached with springs. Sparky's mechanics, including his moving eyes and a blinker, were done by Tom Maier. Bryte donated Sparky in October 2015 and he has been a tourist favorite ever since. Sparky was adopted this summer by none other than 2017 America's Got Talent winner, Darci Lynne Farmer! Darci was swamped with attention and fans at this year's Vent Haven ConVENT

No such thing as "off."

Like all other autumns here at the Haven, I'm rolling along with improvements and changes. This weekend was the tear down of the 2017 special exhibit (Jim Teter's Presidents). I hope you got to see it in person, but here's a few photos if you missed it... Like all special exhibits, the season ends and it's time for the special exhibit pieces to join the regular museum population. The thing is, though, here at Vent Haven, you can't just move one thing...each change causes other changes and the next thing you know, you have a full blown project on your hands! To move the Presidents, I first had to find a space, which meant creating a space in a crowded building. I decided to move the merch

Thanks, Danny!

Many, many thanks to Danny Jones for generously adopting FOUR dummies at convention! Danny chose Woody DeForrest, Jenkins boy, Reese boy, and Chip Martin. Here's a little bit about each of them. Woody DeForrest was donated in 2002 by Helen Messick, widow of famed voice actor, Don Messick. Although Messick was famous for his many voices in animation, like Scooby Doo and Astro, he started out as a ventriloquist. Woody was made by J.C. Turner. On display in the main building, Woody has a hand puppet of Scooby Doo on his shoulder. Jenkins boy is a great Frank Marshall figure that was used by Earl Jenkins. On his photos and in promotional materials, Jenkins goes by the name, "The English Ea

Thanks, Brandon T.!

Thanks to Brandan Tonomura, who adopted Frank Byron, Jr. at the 2017 ConVENTion. Frank Byron Jr. was the main figure used by ventriloquist Harry Lester, known professionally as "The Great Lester." Great, indeed! Lester was one of the most famous ventriloquists from the vaudeville era, and he took credit for originating many of the ventriloquist bits still used today, including having the dummy talk while the ventriloquist drank or smoke, carrying on a telephone conversation with a third, distant voice, and having the dummy yodel. Later in life, Lester gave private lessons and/or tutored many fellow ventriloquists. Having taken lessons from The Great Lester was a badge of pride to a generati

Sweet Taffy

Thanks to Donald & Nancy Beebe for adopting Taffy, one of the sweetest puppets at Vent Haven. Made by Dave Privett, Taffy was used by Vent Haven Museum Advisor Liz Von Seggen, who donated this great puppet at the 2014 ConVENTion. Liz used this puppet in churches,schools, and hundreds of puppet festivals sponsored by One Way Street across the U.S. and around the world. Taffy has been used in the U.S., Canada, England, Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Japan, Russia, Germany, the Philippines, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and Spain. Liz and Taffy also created two training videos that are used to teach ventriloquism and character voices.

So a famous ventriloquist walks into a Mercedes dealership...

Thursday night was awesome! As part of our Capital Funds Campaign, we held an event at Mercedes-Benz of Fort Mitchell at the top of our street, West Maple Avenue. The purpose was twofold; to thank Vent Haven's amazing volunteers and to connect with new people in Northern Kentucky who may not know about the coolest little museum in the world (not that I'm biased or anything). The event included a meet & greet with famed ventriloquist Jay Johnson, several unique photo opportunities, a great performance by Jay and his partner Bob, and a presentation by the Vent Haven Museum Board of Directors: President Brook Brooking, Director Annie Roberts, and Director/Curator Lisa Sweasy. In addition, w

Double Thanks!

I got a lovely and sweet surprise in the mail a few days ago. At convention, the incredibly talented figure makers (and nicest people on the planet), Mary Ann & Melissa Taylor, each adopted a dummy (more on the dummies in a sec). They didn't stop there, though. This past week, they sent an additional donation....for 'school supplies'...for the dummies! How funny is that?! It made me laugh out loud at their humor, creativity, and generosity. Thanks, thanks, thanks to you both!!! Here's a sweet photo of Mary Ann & Melissa from a couple of years ago at convention. I decided to play along with the Taylors and so I put some school supplies in the laps of their two adopted dummies, Tommy W

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Vent Haven Museum
33 West Maple Avenue
Fort Mitchell, KY 41011
(859) 341-0461

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