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 Wood and Jerry.
Here's Jerry with his ruler, notepad, and glue...probably has some project due soon...
Jerry is a beautiful Mack figure that was owned and used by Al Saal. Of the dummy, Saal says in a 7/8/1949 letter to Mr. Berger, "...I drew plans for him and sent 'em to Theo Mack in Chicago....he knew how to make them right with easy and large mouth movement. He is about 5 1/2 feet tall and holding a tray. Is handled by OFF-STAGE strings. I started off with a mind reading stunt and did blind-fold him. Then I had him do a Rising Card effect."
Saal used Jerry in 1924-5. As he was corresponding with Mr. Berger, he sent the following drawing of the figure.
Saal ordered the figure from Charles Mack and it was shipped to him on February 5, 1923. In a 1961 letter to Mr. Berger, Saal said of Mack, "...He made the very best and no one has equaled him to date."
The Taylors also adopted sweet Tommy Wood. Tommy is part of the Class of 2017. Here he sits with scissors, a compass, some tape, and a fine pencil box. Get your homework done, Tommy!
Tommy was used and donated by Barry Morris. Barry ordered Tommy from his maker, Frank Marshall. Marshall charged Barry $285 for Tommy in May 1959.
Barry began corresponding with Vent Haven founder W.S. Berger in 1955 and they exchanged letters until 1962. In 1960, Barry wrote to W.S., "I want to thank you for encouraging me to go ahead and buy a Marshall figure. It was a wise decision."
Here Barry and Tommy meet Edgar Bergen...
Barry donated Tommy during the 2016 Vent Haven ConVENTion. Here they are on that day. You can see Barry's photo on the wall behind them.