I have a young friend that I correspond with from Canada and he asked me a few questions that I thought maybe I would answer openly instead of just to him because they have been asked of me before.
His first question was two fold; what inspired me to collect ventriloquist figures and the inspiration to start Ventriloquist Central.
From the youngest age I can remember I was always bringing home items. As young as 5 I would go out with my red wagon and pick trash barrels for treasures. Once I found some old books that I brought home and my mom would not let me bring them into the house. I had to get rid of them.
I ended up trading them with a boy down the street for a 30″ Dummy Dan figure. I at the time thought it was Charlie McCarthy. We are talking 1954. When I brought him home I told mom I traded the books for him. My mom took me by the hand and made me return it to the boy telling me I had taken advantage of him.
Fast for ward to 1998 and the internet. I said I wonder if I could find a Charlie McCarthy figure like the one I almost had when I was five. Well the world opened up and I was off and running finding ventriloquist figures. I had dealt in antiques all my life and until then had never found a ventriloquist figure.
I collected ventriloquist figures in earnest from 1998 through to the present but in 2006 I met Steve Hurst and we discussed doing a web site to showcase my ventriloquist figure collection and about ventriloquism in general, so Ventriloquist Central was born.
His last question was what was my first figure and the answer is my first figure was a replacement of that long lost original Dummy Dan but if he wants to know what my first wood carved figure was then the answer is a Conrad Hartz cheeky Boy. If he wants to know what my first antique figure was it was a Foy Brown figure.
Dan Willinger is a ventriloquism enthusiast and ventriloquist figure collector. He has been collecting for over 25 years. He created the Ventriloquist Central Collection. It now has over 100 ventriloquist figures and over 50 of them are Frank Marshall figures. Because of his love for the art of ventriloquism, Mr. Willinger created the website Ventriloquist Central. For more information about the website, go to: http://www.ventriloquistcentral.com
Copyright 2012 by Dan Willinger
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