All in the (Wells) Family...

Today's thanks goes out to Terry Wells and his two sons, Will and Austin. They adopted three dummies at the 2017 Vent Haven ConVENTion, Orville Sweet, Hannibal, and Junior, respectively. Orville Sweet was made in 1962 by Vent Haven Museum advisor Bob Isaacson. In addition to using his real name, Bob also performed under three stage names: Bobby Wayne, Bob I., and Robert Royal. Bob donated Orville to the Museum in 2005. Made by Rick Price, Hannibal was purchased and used by Dave Boiano in 1998. Hannibal's full name is Colonel Hannibal L. Dickens. He has moving eyes and eyebrows. Dave donated Hannibal to Vent Haven in 2013. Junior was made by Martin Stevens, who was one of the founding m

Thanks to Chuck!

Thanks to my friend Chuck Lyons for adopting two dummies at the 2017 ConVENTion. Chuck adopted Tommy Baloney and Kenny Talk. Tommy Baloney was the first dummy that Vent Haven founder W.S. Berger acquired. He was in New York on business in 1910 and bought Tommy for $10. The little dummy was not much more than a souvenir, though, and Mr. Berger didn't get another dummy until 1932. Tommy was made by Louis Grannat of Brooklyn, New York. Even though this dummy was the first acquired, Mr. Berger gave him the number eight in his first written catalog. Kenny Talk is a remarkable dummy and the most complex in the Vent Haven collection. Kenny has 16 features, including moving eyes and eyebrows,

Two Turners adopted by two Turners!

Thanks to David & Roenia Turner for adopting Willie Wood and Josie. Both figures were made by J.C. Turner (no relation to David & Roenia, but a deliberate decision!). Turner was a prolific dummy maker throughout the 1940's. David adopted Willie Wood, which was used by Paul Wolf. Mr. Berger acquired the dummy in 1954. Roenia adopted Josie, which was used by Evan Reese and donated by his widow Wilda in 1976. In between the photos of Willie Wood and Josie is a promo flyer for Turner's figures.

Not from Muskogee...

Many thanks to tourist Aria Oliver for adopting "Oaky" this summer. She was one of the first non-ventriloquists to participate in Vent Haven's Adopt A Dummy program. Oaky was made by Howie Olson and was called "Arthur Dooley" in the Abbott's Magic catalog. This sweet dummy was used and donated by Greg Davidson of Roswell, Georgia. Greg donated the dummy with several letters and a detailed story of how he got Oaky. Greg began doing magic professionally at age 12 in 1978. Greg's mother had given Oaky to him as a gift. Because their family lived in Canada, they had the dummy shipped to a relative's house in Detroit and they went to pick him up there. In the donation paperwork, Greg also n

A tourist favorite...

Thanks to Nicholas Avalos for adopting "Tony" at the 2017 ConVENTion. This great dummy was made and donated by Jerry Layne. Jerry was a good friend of the museum's founder, W.S. Berger, and he has also been a member of the VHM Board of Advisors for decades. Jerry donated Tony at the 1991 ConVENTion as a new figure. It has no performance history, so when I needed a good 'hands-on' dummy for tourists to try, I asked Jerry if we could use this one. It's been such a hit! Check out these tourists having fun with Tony....

A (Michaels) family affair...

Many thanks to the Michaels family for supporting Vent Haven's capital funds campaign through our Adopt a Dummy program. They adopted three great dummies! Pete Sr. adopted Paul Stadelman's "Windy Higgins", Stacey and Diana adopted Howard Warringer's "Clyde" and Pete Jr. adopted Walter Lambert's "Sammy." Paul Stadelman's son, Ron Stadelman, donated Windy Higgins, as well as ephemera and photos spanning Paul's entire career, to the museum in May. Paul corresponded with W.S. Berger from 1941 until 1969. In addition to his long performance career, Stadelman was also a prolific writer. His titles on file here at Vent Haven include First Aid for Ventriloquists, Stage-Platform-Television-Ventri

Big thanks from the little guys...

Today's thanks go to Margaret Davis, Lori Bruner, and Atsuko Yashuhara. These three wonderful women adopted some of the cutest little dummies in the collection. They all chose the adorable "Tommy Knots" character made by Frank Marshall. Margaret chose the Tommy Knots that Jim Teter donated in 2016 along with his presidential set of dummies. This dummy is wearing a white sailor suit rather than the standard dark suit. Lori adopted the Tommy Knots that belonged to Frank Gaby and Atsuko adopted the one that belonged to Hank Siemon. Siemon modified the doll to be a female and changed her name to Cheri. Frank Marshall had at least two advertisements for this terrific little dummy; it first s

Thanks to Tom Dahl...

Thanks to Tom Dahl for adopting Jay Marshall's "Lefty" at convention this past summer. Vent Haven's "Lefty" was made by Marshall in February of 1946. W.S. Berger and Jay Marshall began corresponding in 1937. Jay wrote that he was attending Bluefield College in West Virginia and that he would be doing shows with his dummy "Henry" to keep up with the bills. Jay joined the International Brotherhood of Ventriloquists very early in its history; he was #33 in the membership. Jay noted in a letter to Vent Haven in 1994 that he could always remember his IBV number because it was the same as Mr. Berger's house number. Jay Marshall's career as a magician and ventriloquist is legendary. He also ser

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33 West Maple Avenue
Fort Mitchell, KY 41011
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