Weird Guy - Friday, October 16, 2015

Weird Guy.jpg

The American Treasure Tour is a great destination for many reasons, and one of them is for mystery.  Not dangerous mysteries - everything here is perfectly safe (Even if you have a fear of clowns.  We have clowns, but we closely monitor them so they will not hurt you - guaranteed) - but unusual pieces.  Sadly, there are a handful of items on display here that are SO mysterious that even we have no idea where they came from or what they are.  We can only speculate as to their origin - and would love clues if you have them.  So with that in mind, we invite you to take a look at the image to your right and tell us if you have any idea of the backstory behind this very strange puppet/marionette.  What we know:  he looks like he's been impaled by a stick of some sort.  It looks painful.  And it's very weird.  

There is evidence that the first marionettes were created around four thousand years ago. Puppets with strings attached to them have been found in the tombs of ancient Egypt.  The modern word for these ancient puppets manipulated by strings dates to the early-17th century. French puppeteers named them after "Little Mary," after the Virgin Mary.  They have always been a popular draw for children, and continue to delight the young and old in live performances, movies (think Pinocchio), and television.  Arguably the most famous television marionette would be Howdy Doody, whose program influenced the youth of a generation.
QUESTION:  What is the name for a traditional puppetry tradition from Northern Afghanistan in which an ornately created goat is connected to the wrist of the puppeteer?
A)  Bunraku
B)  Buz Baz
C)  Bazrikki
D)  Goat Theater

YORKTOWN IS OURS!  On this day in 1781, General George Washington celebrated the greatest military success of his entire military career when British forces cornered in the town of York in Virginia were compelled to surrender.  The Patriot army had had a number of victories prior to this great day, but Washington led far too few of them.  They didn't know it at the time, but this would be the beginning of the end for the Revolutionary War.  Already six years old, the war proved very expensive and unpopular for the British at home, who eventually demanded peace.  Alas, it would be two more years before the Treaty of Paris was signed.

HAPPY DAYS.  This day in 1888 marked the birth of one of America's most respected playwrights - Eugene O'Neill.  Born in a hotel at what is now Times Square in New York City, O'Neill could never be described as a happy person, but he was certainly driven.  He wrote numerous highly successful and well-regarded plays, and won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1936, passing away in a hotel room in Boston at the age of 65.

QUOTE:  Obsessed by a fairy tale, we spend our lives searching for a magic door and a lost kingdom of peace. - Eugene O'Neill

ANSWER:  B)  Buz Baz.  (Bunraku is Japanese.)