This blog is dedicated to all things Frank – past, present and future.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Lester Joins The Fusco Family

Last year my friends Dave and Elaine went to a street fair. There, they saw a vendor selling an old Lester ventriloquist dummy. They took a bunch of photos of themselves with Lester and posted them to Facebook. I was the first person to respond with, "Lester!". I think I might've also had a second comment describing how, as a child, every Christmas I'd circle Lester in the Sears catalog, in hopes of getting him. But Santa never delivered.

A few weeks later, exactly one year ago today, I got home from work to find a box waiting for me on my doorstep. As soon as I saw who it was from I knew what it was, but I still couldn't believe it. I opened the box and there was Lester with a letter saying "Please take care of me", or something like that (I wish I still had the letter). Dave and Elaine made my childhood Christmas wish come true. It was truly the best "just because" gift I have ever received.

To show my appreciation I thought it would be fun to make a calendar of Lester's first year as part of my family. Each month I photographed Lester in a scene that best represents that month – some were pretty elaborate. My neighbors must think I'm a nut job, posing dolls in front of the house.

I knew from ordering calendars in the past that they also give you the option to add photos on peoples birthdays or holidays. I figured if this calendar was coming from Lester, he would probably acknowledge his friends and family's birthdays. So I needed images of Lester's friends and family. That led to a google search: black ventriloquist dummies. Through searching, I learned that there's been many African American ventriloquist acts in the past and present. I became fascinated with this genre, at least for a few days. When I put my mind to something, I tend to go all out…some may say overboard. The proof is below.

Please enjoy my year with Lester, I know I have...

For those of you not familiar with the comedy stylings of Willie & Lester, here's a video from the 1970's children's show, Vegetable Soup

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