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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-Ventriloquism, Ventriloquism, Ventriloquism of Today, and For Ventriloquists Only. Paul had also previously donated three other figures as well as two reel to reel recordings of his lessons.

Clyde is an adorable little guy made by George and Glenn McElroy. He was owned by Howard Warringer. He sold it to Mr. Berger in 1964 for $50.00! Originally, Warringer said his son wanted it and it wasn't for sale, but later said that his son changed his mind. Warringer sent the dummy to Mr. Berger without requiring payment in advance and said in a letter, "You are too well known by reputation as the founder of Vent Haven and your stature as an honest man." The dummy is not named in the correspondence file; then curator Dorothy Millure called him "Clyde" and the name stuck.

One of the most photographed heads in the Vent Haven collection is Sammy. Sammy was used by Walter Lambert, who was known for having performed under the stage name of "Lydia Dreams." Lambert died in 1950, just four years after he began corresponding with Mr. Berger. Mr. Berger thought Lambert's career and acts were so interesting that he wrote a tribute article about him in the November/December 1950 issue of The Oracle. (The Oracle was the official publication of the International Brotherhood of Ventriloquists.) The photo at the right is referenced in the No. 4 act below. Note that the dummy (named Cousin Charles in this act) is in the chair.

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