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the set is about twenty five feet long....

The set is about twenty-five feet long….

(Click on the pictures for much larger views–)

(note: Impossible to believe but true-Odette, pictured below as the Magic Woman, was rear ended years ago, 1988, only two blocks away from the same spot I was rear end the very night of the day we performed this show. Thing is, today, the 15th of DEC 2016, she went to see yet again another doctor about reoccurring neck pain from her accident! Oy Vey! Clear as a bell?-her accident was 28 years ago=she’s still hurting.What’s the chances that two people acting in this puppet show were rear ended years apart in locations not less than two blocks apart? Maybe, good? I need a beer!)

I’ve been doing puppet shows for the Alachua County Library District for the past 21 years; some have been repeated during this time. I like to encourage reading as I pick my favorite stories-literacy is the point. Thing is, this past show, The Magic Bag, may be one of my last.

The Magic woman wants it to always be cold

The Magic woman wants it to always be cold

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Natu and Lima protest the weather conditions!

Really, I have a job I’d never leave but Old Man Time is making one out of me. The show must go on, and my life, too.

Then again, the show turned me into a frog!

Then again, the show turned me into a frog!

Angela- Lima- is turned into a cat....

Angela- Lima- is turned into a cat….due to our complaints!

I write adaptions of stories to fit what can be done in the venue we use. Always from the get-go, I’ve employed ‘outtakes’ which entail the puppeteer also appearing stage front as actors who represent various puppets seen on stage. These are the most uproarious moments of any puppet show we do, and always involve a ton of confetti throwing for any made up reason.

This was one of those reasons: The Woman likes it to snow!!! Oh My!

This was one of those reasons: The Woman likes it to snow!!! Oh My!

The scripts are always intended to entertain both child and adult alike.

I write the scripts, design the sets, direct the practices and take part in the productions. It’s all a kick.

The river was fun, and the over head as well....and AC unit(s) blew the blue foil drop downs.

The river was fun, and the over head as well…. AC unit(s) blew the blue foil drop downs.

This program is based upon a Lakota version of a Native American legend that is found throughout most tribes’ folk lore. Basically, a Magic Woman keeps summer in her magic bag and lets only the cold, winter days out. The animals hate the constant cold, steal the bag, and only agree to return it to the woman IF summer can be let out of the bag 1/2 of every year–then winter reigns the other 1/2.

We always sing during the shows-this adaptation of

We always sing during the shows-this adaptation of “Wouldn’t it be Lovely” to have it snow everywhere….

The puppets steal the Magic Bag and there's trouble when the Magic Woman wants it back

The puppets steal the Magic Bag and there’s trouble when the Magic Woman wants it back.

These are the moments I will remember forever....

These are the moments I will remember forever….

Cheers-and now you know why 1/2 of most years are warm, and the other, 1/2 cold:-)

Franque23.

Credits to Odette Hinson as the Magic Woman and Angela Hassebroek as Lima and puppeteer. Thanks.

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(click on the pics for a bigger picture.)

Yes, I’ll admit, I’ve always wanted to play the Mad-Hatter in a puppet show. This is why it is the Mad Hatter’s tea party that s-l-o-w-s down the Hare as I wrote the puppet show adaptations of The Tortoise and the Hare. Well for that, but also because I couldn’t think of how watching a Hare sleep under and tree or romp through flowers could be made into an interesting, entertaining script…..Voila–the Mad Hatter’s tea party was born again, sorta.

We were ready-----(Tina, Odette and Ann-she signed the show- line up with me wishing they could run away

We were ready—–(Tina Bushnell, Odette Hinson and Ann Lozotte(-she signed the show-) line up with me wishing they could run away…

It can be painful learning a show...and sometimes you just gotta laugh since there's no way any of it will work out.

It can be painful learning a show…and sometimes you just gotta laugh since there’s no way any of it will work out.(practice while thinking of calling in sick on the day of the show)

It’s quite an ordeal to pre-plan the adaptation, write the script, order needed  items, build the set and props, practice, direct and then perform the puppet show. In all, we had over 100 hours of time put into this production…and I was sorry that 50 or so children who hadn’t pre–signed up and reserved a spot in the audiences for either one of two “Sold-out” free shows had to be turned away.

The script was full of puns: “Do you have money for Hare-fare?”; “Here’s a Hare-brush”;”Let’s not split, Hares”; and “Hare today; gone tomorrow” These were just  a few-

The Hatter meant it when he said, "Let's look OVER the menu."

The Hatter meant it when he said, “Let’s look OVER the menu.”

Hare: “But I can’t read what’s on the menu!”(by just looking over it)

Hatter: “Excellent idea; we’ll eat what ‘s on the menu!”

In one of the funnier parts, the waiter uses a sight gag of large portions for the Hatter and small portions for the Hare.

Large lettuce leaf and tomato for me

First a large carrot for me and a five CARAT ring for the starving Hare. Then, a large lettuce leaf and tomato for me

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small tomato with bite out of it for the Hare

Small tomato with bite out of it for the Hare

The bit here ends when the Hatter pretends to eat his menu, now folded around the food items as if it were a sandwich-er, on the menu.

Hatter: Bon Appetit

Hare: Wait, I can’t eat this! ( The menu as a sandwich)

Hatter: But people always eat what’s on the Menu!

The waiter-played by Odette, changes into four or more nationalities as she returns with food to put”On” the menu, or delivers a large carrot for me and a five Carat diamond ring for the starving Hare etc. In all, I think Odette changed costumes about 8 times within a 35 minute program–that’s work.

In the beginning, the set was ready and quiet.

In the beginning, the set was ready and quiet.

Wait–in the beginning the people who’d be doing the play were determined,,,their talents came into play and helped define the roles they might do well.

Random thought:

Why didn't the term, Mosshead, take hold?  That all got me thinking -I guess it’s the same for Fox News Producers…they have to dice out who can do what for their shows.

So they had to decide what roll Megyn Kelly might best be suited for on their TV show....

So they had to decide what roll, Megyn Kelly, might best be suited for on their TV show….then make her toast, I mean host.

Maybe,  we all buy into what puppets tells us?

Anyway, for us the first act was all puppets….

Children buy into puppets ,,always.....

Children buy into puppets ,,always…..(Ann Lezotte signs)

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Everything was set behind stage

lots of lines to keep track of

lots of lines to keep track of…

We always have a rocking time of it…

I first looked over the Hairy Hare name Harry and thought her a bit fuzzy-she explained she was hairy all over, which I thought an odd name...Then she said , "No I'm only Hairy." That name seemed no better.... "No" The Hare said. "I'm just Harry." This is why I called the Medic- obviously Hairy all over and Only Hairy were missing,, maybe in trouble,,,maybe hurt....

I first looked over  Hairy Hare name Harry and thought her a bit fuzzy-she explained she was hairy all over, which I thought an odd name…Then she said , “No I’m only Hairy.” That name seemed no better…. “No” The Hare said. “I’m just Harry.” This is why I called the Medic- obviously Hairy all over and Only Hairy had gone missing,, they could’ve been in trouble,,,maybe hurt….missing for sure

We kept the pace of puns going on throughout and  you can’t flip a phrase into humor if the first one isn’t said just right. That put pressure on us to remember the subtle twists of the script.

Of course we had a safety net made of endless confetti and horn blowers for each child.....

Of course we had a safety net made of endless confetti and horn blowers for each child at the play’s end…

In the end, it was. I found myself back stage with bending head realizing that after 21 years of doing puppet shows, I wouldn’t be doing them forever. Plus, one cast member had mentioned that maybe this was her last hurrah(the position in the puppet shows so filled with huge work is voluntary.) It all set me back- back to twenty years ago when I was 47 and new to the Library District.., young, limber, full of energy and so willing to go for it.  Then, I thought about how much I would miss doing these shows with the current cast members, how much they’d given to me, to the shows, and how wonderful they are. It was a moment of triumphant filled with a sense of loss for me.

“Are you alright?”

Tina’s sweet voice called from my left, startling me,  catching me in my retrospective moment-

“Yes.” I smiled. “I’m alright.”  I couldn’t go into how much Odette and Tina had meant to my efforts, our efforts, and how much I’d never forget the puppet shows, the laughter, or either of them. I owe them so much. I kept my thoughts private, until now.

I'' never forget the scenes

I’ll never forget the scenes–how about the tea cup?

But most of all, I’ll never forget the children’s faces, the laughter and joy we’ve managed to bring to them.

I know it a small thing-but this troupe has worked wonders...and I'm so proud of them.

I know it’s a small thing-but this troupe has worked wonders…and I’m so proud of them.

 

Cheers, and I’ve a few more shows left in me as long as the ‘creek don’t rise’…

Franque23 loves his troupe.


You know the type- the annoying workmate that smiles even in the morning, lends you two helping hands when all you asked for was one, continually makes the day better and makes you forget you wish it were over. I’m surrounded by the type-turkey’s every one of them.12279013_10208140762667012_8713307563898335197_n (1)

Odette’s turkey hat craft tortured old and young alike this year.AlachuaCountyLibraryDowntown_100kW

http://www.aclib.us/headquarters(link-a-dink to the Alachua County Library district.)The main, Headquarter’s branch is a big deal building, housing over 250,000 items, visited by 3,000 people on a slow day and checking out over 1 million items per year.

Sometimes, I just have to put one foot in front of the other and drag myself in to work with our rafter of Youth Service people. Imagine the whole flock being made up of people who like to help others on a daily basis, and it only gets worse. These liberrians( from the often used pronunciation, most seem to think we grow on trees.) like to share information, read, laugh, smile-never yell-stay pleasant, think proactively, design endless displays, tell stories during elaborate story hours presented throughout the county, and they like to nibble. Real Gobblers this group. In fact, I think we should call one table inside our office the official, Nibble Table-wait, the entire office-The Nibble Office. Better. In all, it’s a disgusting display of happiness around here-a nightmare montage of good feelings I must navigate through every working hour!

This is giving me an idea…..

images (23) Ya know how we have all those happy days like Thanksgiving, the Holidays(code for Christmas) Thank God for Parents day(wait-do we have one of these?) Anyway….what we need around here is an official crappy day -a cathartic day of the year, one left open for only complaints, grips, groans, pukey ideas, grumbling and saying what’s on our mind day. We could call it, The Colossal Crappy Day. But why stop at one, when we could have,say,,, four a year?!?!?!

Right now,  what’s amazing is that this post has nothing in it that even closely resembles what I meant to write about. No, this post is about the Library building I put on display, how much awful fun it was creating, and how many patrons regrettably enjoy it.12195848_1049487265082047_5704119365050262721_n

So yeah, it’s like a doll house, you can even find stacks of books and stuff by looking into the side windows or into the second story window.12191492_1049487311748709_2641903970150508098_n

I’m using the bright reflective neon paper that’s attached to the backside of the trees to get the added fall reflection look.

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Have trees, have squirrels*(God’s motto.)…Well,  one thing’s certain-this squirrel’s not the only one who has a bunch of nuts around him.

red team winners

I ask you! Who are these people!

And my director(she’s really my supervisor, but, shhh, don’t mention that to her) keeps thinking of more to do, more to eat and stuff.1965012_786280751406619_7639099478551129472_n

She keeps an eye on me.

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And really, all the gals I work with wear a bunch of hats on a daily basis- it’s that do this, do that, get stuff done attitude they all don that screws up many perfectly good, non-productive days.

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Personally, I have to ask, why so many hats? It’s only one job!?!?!

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I’m your basic one hat sort of guy, period. (Pay no attention to the stuffed animals, puppets, clown shoes, tinsel or that other hat on my desk.)

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Okay, also pay no attention to maybe a second hat, or four, or the Grinch, the moose, the royal carriage, and the winged Pegasus you can’t see to boot. There, that’s as far as I take it-the rest is all hard work; end of story-sorta. Let the others do all the miserable laughing.

Merry Thanksgiving anyway, and enjoy the turkey’s-I do.

Franque23

horse_head_squirrel_feeder_1 (1)

Time to eat.

Book one of the Avatar magic Trilogy, Avatar Magic, and book two, The Code of Avatar Magic, and the final book of this trilogy, Survival, are on kindle now. Please enjoy this Sci-fi romance. I hope you buy the books; I hope you enjoy reading the books; I hope you will review the books; I hope you will share the books.

Book One: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00B0NYO80
Book Two: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00KXMIIOK

Book Three: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B018RX67BW

 

 

 

 

 


the lake from above

the lake from above-

The scene was so beautiful– one sunset gave a deep teal blue water-color, all lined in black by  High Rock, trees, hills, with a blazing red stripe that span across the whole western skyline, and above, as if an icing on a red velvet cake, whisk a band of turquoise blue. Soon, that enchanted blue gave way to a deepening, darker sky that grew to reveal the first stars of the night.

This isn't the exact shot....no where near red enough---but somehow I've lost 36 pictures taken this fall at the lake during a transfer from my camera to computer--drat!

This isn’t the exact shot….the sky’s nowhere near red enough—but somehow I’ve lost 36 pictures taken this fall at the Lake during a transfer from my camera to computer–drat!

Here's a shot more like what we saw this Fall---picture taken by another Lake Bonapartean....

Here’s a shot more like what we saw this Fall—picture taken by another Lake Bonapartean….

The loons never disappoint, their call echoing from the Twin Sister shoreline where so few cabin lights glimmered.

Loon calling---I may have clipped this from the Lake Bonaparte group on FB...Thanks for this!

Loon calling—I may have clipped this from the Lake Bonaparte group on FB…Thanks for this!**

This September had been a warm one with lake temperatures in the high seventies, the air full of breeze that fluttered leaves partly turned but for the Swamp Maple already ablaze with yellow, red and gold.

This bulletin board came form my lake, 'Happy Place'.

This bulletin board came from my Lake, ‘Happy Place’.

restful moments abound

restful moments abound…*

There was no way to suspect a two-day rain would soon drop the water to seventy-though three days after that storm, on our day to depart, warmer weather was coming to continue a sun that could heat any dock by afternoon.

I ran across the dock joined by two grandsons, seven and six, and cannon balled  splashing waves to either side. Sometimes, I even wore a suit.

I’d always thought, as do my family, relatives and friends, that being up at the Lake makes me feel good, food tastes better, I sleep soundly, and a plop in the lake before breakfast ends any fuzzes from the late night before. This dip is sound advice-the refreshing dunk makes any weather better. But, as it turns out, there’s more to the Lake than the scene, the water, the loon, the rocks, trees, hills and grassland-for us and for so many, it is a place of family, and seemingly a million options when it comes to enjoying the Lake with relatives.

Fifty-eight family members cast a cheer your way.

Fifty-eight family members cast a cheer your way.(Lach Franquemont photo)

It's so easy to reflect upon the beauty of the world up at the Lake.l

It’s so easy to reflect upon the beauty of the world up at the Lake.*

Here’s looking at you!65299_10200263764660325_1194979476_n

Goodbye for now.**

Franque23

  • *Pics by Dale Franquemont
  • ** Drafted off Lake Bonaparte FB page

Book one, Avatar Magic, and book two, The Code of Avatar Magic are on kindle now. Please enjoy this Sci-fi romance.

Book one: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00B0NYO80
Book two: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00KXMIIOK

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