Today's post is all about monkeys. And a Texaco Danny O'Day doll...
Visitors to Vent Haven love demonstrations. Even more so, they love being able to handle a puppet. These great monkeys have been used for tourist engagement.
First, thanks to Michele Abshire for donating this first little guy. Verna Finly made this cute monkey and it was donated by Geri Harrington in 1980. Although they didn't get to handle it, this sweet puppet was demonstrated to tourists for about 13 years.
The second demonstrator monkey was also made by Verna Finly who donated it to replace the first monkey. This monkey was made and donated by Verna in 1993. Thanks to Alan Flagg for adopting this monkey at the 2017 convention.
In 2011, Steve Axtell donated one of his Cheeky Monkey characters to replace the second Finly monkey. This is the current demonstration piece and hundreds of tourists have tried their hand at ventriloquism with this sweet little puppet. I also take this puppet out to demonstrate at educational booths and public speaking events. Susan Barlotta adopted this wonderful puppet.
So, why the Texaco Danny O'Day? Well, Gary Barlotta adopted it at convention, and he and Susan were in the same photo! This really cool toy was distributed by the National Mask & Novelty Company when Jimmy Nelson was on Milton Berle's show, The Texaco Star Theater. This dummy has been autographed by Jimmy Nelson. Vent Haven founder W. S. Berger bought dozens of Jimmy Nelson toys from National Mask & Novelty to resell to his visitors.