Ray Guyll and Dan Willinger at the Ventriloquist Central Birthday Bash 2011
Master figure builder, Ray Guyll sent in his review of the Ventriloquist Central Birthday Bash:
Wow, what a great weekend. I can’t remember when I’ve had as much fun with a group of vents as I had this past weekend. Margaret Davis summed it up very well (I don’t recall ever seeing her without a big smile beaming and lighting up the room) and I really don’t have much to add except that the gathering reminded me of the gatherings that W.S. Berger would host yearly. The group was just the right size for sharing ideas, stories, etc. There were no “prima donna” or “holier than thou” attitudes and everyone was accepted as an equal. Experienced and inexperienced vents interacted equally and it was my observation that we all learned from each other.
Dan went out of his way to assure that everyone was welcomed and had a great time (I sure did) and seeing his collection was a thrill beyond words. Barbara and I arrived on Thursday and enjoyed a fine Italian dinner with Helen, Jason, Dan, and my new friend Mike Robinson (what a fine talent he is). We shared stories and Jason entertained us with a fine display of prestidigitation. After dinner we went back to the Willinger residence for desert and I kept disappearing from the group. They knew where to find me though, I was in the room with my fellow woodenheads.
On Friday Barbara and I drove into Boston and took the tour of Fenway Baseball Stadium. What a great tour that was! I recommend it very highly. After the tour we drove to Cape Cod and spent the afternoon touring Provincetown. I’m a history buff so Barbara allowed me to locate and photograph many of the historical monuments. Around 6:00 pm we headed back to Boston and stopped by the hotel where a small group of vents had gathered. More sharing of stories!
Saturday was the main day and we spent the day in presentations and making new friends. Dinner that evening was at a Chinese food establishment. The six at our table were two of my dear friends Gary Brodeur and David Pendleton (thanks Dave for letting me use your McElroy masterpiece in my presentation), my two new friends Ken Shapiro (thanks Ken for all the laughs and especially the closing bit for my presentation) and Austin Phillips (an up and coming figure maker) and of course my wife Barbara (how could I possibly exist without her) and myself.
On an extra special note during the afternoon my buddy, Dave Carr (Carruth), received the news that his first grandson had just come into the world. CONGRATULATIONS DAVE!! Send us pictures.
Thanks Dan for all of your hard work and hospitality. You definitely hit a grand slam! It was a blast and I’ve already started preparing for next year!
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 2011 by Dan Willinger
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Gary Brodeur has a beautiful Guyll figure.