2010, 2011 PRSA WI Paragon Award of Excellence

About this blog

A Dummy's Puppet's Ramblings - from Chip Martin
Mannequin American views and guidelines on marketing/PR trends, news from the world of puppets and ventriloquism, bits of humor and other interesting but useless information. I post every Tuesday and Friday.
My Background
What I Do
About Brown & Martin, Inc.

Email Updates


ConVENTion Reflections 5 ... Dunham Touches a Puppet

A Puppet's Ramblings - from Chip Martin, Mannequin American Marketer
To View Complete Blog Click Here:

Chip Shot: Telephone poles are trees that cleaned up and got a job.



THE Dale Brown and me with Danny Jones and his buddy.




Danny was gracious enough to “adopt” the original Chip Martin at Vent Haven Museum, (in the background) along with two or three other characters. A big “Thanks!” to our friend Danny Jones. The “Adopt a Dummy” program is still running and we are thankful for everyone’s support.


ConVENTion Reflections 5 ... Dunham Touches a Puppet 

Where’d the Drawbridge Go?

Jim Barber, Annie Brooking Roberts, and Jay Johnson show up for the ConVENTion, only to discover that the check-in sign is the lone remaining remembrance of the Drawbridge. (I wonder where all the cockroaches went to live?)


Prior to the ConVENTion in 2016, Leslie and Dale renewed their wedding vows at Vent Haven. (Yes, you can do that, for a price). Tom Ladshaw officiated the ceremony. Tom’s incredibly well-scribed words were bound in an old Cup and Chaucer Menu, from the Drawbridge. That valued keepsake now holds a place of honor in our residence.

More Drawbridge Memories


Bob Abdou always seems a little out of focus.


Verna look-alike puppets in the hands of friends, Bob Hamill and Phillip Jones.




Dan Horn and Dale at the Drawbridge. (Thanks for putting a sweater on me in July!)




Bill DeMar and Roy White at the Drawbridge.



On a personal note, Bill stayed at our house a few times and his one-on-one guidance on manipulation was treasured advice. I doubt Dale ever performs without thinking of Bill.




Vent Haven set up a great tribute to Bill. Undoubtedly the last time all of his characters were together. Bill was the only vent I ever knew who did an entire four and half minute, hilarious bit without having the puppet (Feldon the Frog) utter a single word. Brilliant. Here’s a clip of that bit that Dale taped while Bill was performing in WI in the 80’s.




We have scores of photos of Clinton and Adelia Detweiler from conventions and personal visits. Our hearts ache a little every time we think about those treasured souls. (We also have scores of photos of Lee Cornell, on the left … but that’s usually because he’s hanging with other people who we wanted to photograph.)




When Dale was ConVENTion Chairman, a special award of recognition was presented to Clinton and Adelia for the many contributions “Maher Studios” had made to the art and popularity of ventriloquism. Without a doubt, Clinton was the person responsible for Dale becoming a professional vent. So, blame him. Tom Crowl is now handling Maher Studios and the International Ventriloquist Society.




I include this photo because on several occasions, Clinton told us this was one of his favorite bits from one of the ConVENTion Saturday Night Shows. It was from a time when it was perfectly normal for audience members to be smoking in their seats during performances.  So, Dale and I donned protective masks to shield us from the cloud of smoke hanging over the room. We took advantage of the situation to perform a number of very difficult tongue twisters including Peter Pieper Picked a Peck of Pickled Peppers. If I remember right, we got a standing ovation … which proves ventriloquism doesn’t take as much skill as it does sheer nerve.




Here’s Jeff Dunham with the very first figure he ever made. It resides in Building Two of Vent Haven Museum. (Speaking of “nerve” how about those shorts?!)




Here, Jeff dismantled the figure so that he could take a photo of what the internal mechanisms looked like. (Wouldn’t you think he’d know?) By the way, if curator Lisa Sweasy ever asks, this never happened.







Sammy. During conVENTion tours, probably the most photographed puppet head in the Vent Haven Museum collection. Glass eyes, human teeth and real hair. Beautiful or slightly odd, depending on your point of view. (Photo used with permission of Vent Haven Museum.)







Posted: May 01 2018, 07:30 AM by chip | with no comments


No Comments

Leave a Comment