Today was one of the highlights of our South Carolina trip – lunch with the Puppet Ladies! Who you may ask?! Well, let me take you back . . . many of you may not know this about me!
Small World Puppets
Once upon a time, there was a puppet troupe at First Baptist Church in Aiken, South Carolina called Small World Puppets. My whole family was involved. My mom was the co-director, my dad was a soundman, and Cindy and I were both puppeteers.
These were Muppet-type puppets of all shapes and sizes. We did shows all over the country about sharing God’s love – we even dressed in matching costumes with our puppets.
We took the church van with a trailer full of puppets hitched behind it and traveled all across South Carolina and beyond – all the way west to Texas and north to West Virginia. We put on elaborate shows with singing, dancing, characters (even a ventriloquist!) at churches, military bases, schools, festivals, you name it. We were like a mini-Broadway musical. We even did a couple of water parks and the 1982 World’s Fair. We were pretty good!
And Today . . .
Well – the puppeteers grew up and eventually Small World ended. But there were a core group of ladies that had really been behind it all – the Puppet Ladies (not the girls above – we are the daughters – I will get the Ladies themselves to send a picture of their next soiree – we were so busy talking we forgot to take pictures!).
They wrote the shows, dressed the puppets, managed the stage and scripts, chaperoned our trips, and were the main performers. They have all stayed in touch and have lunch together a few times a year – a Puppet Ladies Lunch.
Since Frank and I were coming to town, they decided to have a Puppet Ladies Lunch in our honor and invited some of the local, old puppeteers back. The event grew to include my parent’s square dance crew as well. What a lively group! We had a ton of fun catching up with everyone, sharing memories, and laughing. (That’s Frank below talking to the ventriloquist and her mother – who also happened to be my sister, Cindy’s, fabulous wedding planner – a small world indeed!)
It felt like no time had passed at all, and I was so happy to introduce Frank to this part of my family history. Here’s to Small World Puppets!
Our two most famous characters – Miss Missy (played by Beth Daniel) and Miss Prissy (my Mom!)