I have been chatting of late with Clinton Detweiler and he brought up a very good point about collecting and I thought I would share this with the rest of our community.
I happened to see that Clinton had asked on his blog about identifying a few small vent figures (here’s Clinton’s blog) and I had done a blog on the Davy Crockett figure made by the Grand Toy Co of New York. I sent him this link in case you missed it.
He had stated that he was cleaning out some storage so I asked him if he had any figures that he may be getting ready to sell and he let me know that in fact he was not a collector of vent figures and did not want to burden Adleia (his wife) with having to sell off or find where to put a collection once he may be gone. Therefore he never really collected figures he just built and sold them. Clinton told me that more than once he had been asked by widows of ventriloquists what they should do with their figures now that their spouses had passed.
I was motivated to tell this story because it is in fact true. You really should have a plan for the possessions if and when a spouse passes. The names and addresses of who to contact should be placed in your important papers so the information is available to the surviving spouse. I myself have made sure that I have this type of information available for my family just in case.
This is just a smart and easy thing to do and even though this is not what any of us like to think about it is a part of life and if you have a collection it must be done.
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 2009 by Dan Willinger
NOTE: You may use this blog article provided you run it with the bio box intact. Please email a copy of your publication with the blog article in it to: email@example.com
Why, Dan, I’ll probably live forever. I just got through posting response to Mr. D’s blog, Hannah’s first birthday as a teen. She and I share this day as birth day, and I explained that my grandchildren told me from age 67 on I go backwards, and each handed me a happy birthday card, pointing out I’sm not now 68 but 66, so it won’t be long until I’m a teen again. In answer to your question what will do with figure, I trust granddaughter, Georgia, with Kriket and paraphernalia, and my instructions not to sell or trade for less than six figures. Not worth that? Maybe not, but is to me. Kriket is the only wood figure around I know of made cambium center, one large wood block, not four small blocks glued together. Now knowing Georgia, she would say Pap meant I could trade this one for 6 others.
Thanks for reminding us of that, Dan. I remember reading your post about the Davy Crockett figure.
You’ll note I responded to Clinton’s query over at his site, too, and that the figure I own also has moveable eyes…though the string is still intact and the eyes move perfectly.
I think mine was probably never “Davy,” and is a bit earlier. While it is clearly the same mold, the painting is different (The eyebrows are more like horizontal parentheses and the eyeballs haven’t that wedge cut, for starters).
As I stated in my posts to Clinton, mine has different costuming as well, though the belt buckle seems to be the same.
I’m always anxious to know more…and to be able to affix a date to this little fellow!
And, yes, you’re right about the fate of our figures. I own four large figures and a smaller worked-over Jerry Mahoney.
The Jerry is probably not important to anyone but me…as I’ve had him and done shows with him for something like fifty years, but the others certainly are.
I’ve thought a lot about their fate upon my death. Your collection and Vent Haven have come to mind. I think it’s important to preserve them…and their history.
Sorry. Rambling. Thanks for much.