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Caroll Spinney Book Signing in SF

Discussion in 'Henson People' started by frogboy4, May 16, 2003.

  1. frogboy4

    frogboy4 Inactive Member

    I just met Caroll Spinney! It was quite an eventful day. He brought out Oscar, but of course Big Bird had some work to do over on Sesame Street so he couldn't make it. Fine with me because I really like Oscar.

    Anyway, he spoke of various stories (all are likely in the book) but the funniest part is who was there. Brian, the head of the Bay Area Puppet Guild, was chatting with some man who I found familiar. At first I thought he was a member who I hadn't really spoken with, but I came to find out it was Dave Goelz. Oh, my. Well, we chatted for a minute. I was rather nervous, but he was a really cool guy. Almost got a picture taken with him, but he was getting mobbed by other fans and wanted to diffuse the situation because this was Caroll's day. He did mention visiting Muppet Central and enjoying it very much. He told me that he heard about the Henson sale a couple of minutes before surfing over here and we hadn't put it on the main page yet. He surfed around the site and came back a couple minutes later and it was up! He was quite complimentary of Phillip's swiftness in posting the article. He also complimented the new look. That made my day!:concern:

    Caroll had heard of us too, but doesn't own a computer. LOL! Even though he has a beautiful site for his book and another fan site out there. He will also be selling prints soon. They will be original works containing Big Bird. He didn't elaborate, but it's definitely worth checking out! ;)

    I didn't get a picture with Oscar, but I got one with Spinney and that's enough for me. Oscar wasn't especially grouchy today, but he did frighten one child. LOL! He went away for a while and came back later. It was very cute. Oscar told one kid that even a smile like his could make a grouch happy. :grouchy:

    Dave and Caroll also spoke of remembering Jim Henson today. The whole experience was very moving. Glad I made this signing. I hope there is another fest soon. I haven't stopped smiling since 12:30 today! :)
  2. scarecroe

    scarecroe Active Member

    Sounds like fun, and what a treat that Dave was there too!

    I thought it was particularly cool to hear that Caroll wrote the book out entirely in longhand.

    I was wondering about his art. I meant to ask him if he ever thought of putting a book together containing his work. Or better yet, an entire book featuring artwork from Sesame staff, kids, celebrities and whoever in a Sesame theme.... much like the art exhibit of a similar nature. I'll look forward to seeing those prints go for sale, although I'll likely not be able to afford one.
  3. frogboy4

    frogboy4 Inactive Member

    Yeah. I wonder the price of them too. He mentioned that there's another fan site that either is showing his work. I think this is it. http://carollspinney.netfirms.com/docs/art.html but I don't think these are the prints.

    This was a great day for me considering that I couldn't make it to the Fest. Plus, I think it's funny all the Gonzo issues I've been connected with this week. :concern:

    (edited to update the info)
  4. scarecroe

    scarecroe Active Member

  5. Ol' Buddy Bert

    Ol' Buddy Bert New Member


    Thanks for sharing your story. It sounds like it was as memorable of an experience as I had in Naperville.

    As I've been reading everyone's stories, tt makes we wonder if we should compile some of our experiences into a short book and send it to Caroll to say "thanks" for being such a gentleman.
  6. Luke

    Luke Active Member

    Fantastic news Jamie - did you mention the action figure 'issues' with Dave ?

    I think Dave Goelz is fantastic (*waves to Dave*), he's my favorite Muppeteer by far, such a nice guy and i've never criticised his work (even sticking up for him when that MC 'Hill' article insinuated those disgusting 'things') so i'm very happy he's a Muppet Central visitor. If Brian Henson ever visits i'm gonna be pretty stuck though ......

  7. Hays

    Hays New Member

    Scott, I've been thinking about that, myself - I don't think he really realizes how much he's affected all of us. He says as much in the book: "I may be the most unknown famous person in America" (it's a terrific book, couldn't put it down. Sad about China)

    How should we do it? Start a thread that we'll snail mail to Mr. Spinney? I'll be happy to collaborate in any way - let me know.
  8. frogboy4

    frogboy4 Inactive Member

    I was pretty nervous so I didn't know quite what to say to Dave Goelz. He's a really nice guy. I should have asked him what color he thinks Bunsen is. LOL! Oh, well. He seemed excited by the Henson buy back, as did Spinney. So it seems the performers are happy. That's important in my book. :)

    We could form a thank you letter. I wouldn't know how to do it, but it's a nice idea.
  9. BlueFrackle

    BlueFrackle Active Member


    Thats fantastic !

    Your very lucky, I heard that Karen Prell and Mike Quinn attended another signing in SF too !


    PS, I sent Caroll a thank you letter !
  10. frogboy4

    frogboy4 Inactive Member

    Yup. They went to the one in Berkley. That's a bit out of the city so I went to the one close by. Wish I could have seen Karen and Mike, but I'm sure they'll make it to a guild meeting sometime soon. :excited:
  11. beaker

    beaker Well-Known Member

    Hey that's a pretty cool surprise Dave showed up at the SF, sounds like both had unexpected Muppeteers! heh

    Yeah Dave is a great guy, I didnt get to talk with him very long at MF, but if you look at his work in any sirutation(ad libbed, improved, scripted) he is definately the master. If Clash is the Muppet moral booster, Goelz is the studiedt Gandolf.

    Anyways, glad ya got to make the SF one...I was barely able to make the Berkeley one.

    One thing that seems clear, I think the Muppeteers are definately happy with the Henson buyback! So definately lots of possibilities there.

    As far as Oscar, there was some really touching moments
    with him at the Berkeley one. I remember tearing up a bit from reading the book as well.

    Well, hopefully we'll see all these Muppeteer folks again at MF 2!

    PS: That's cool folks recognized Goelz, as its said the Muppeteer is the unsung hero. questions:

    1) what was the turnout like?

    2) mostly casual or diehard Muppet fans?

    3) Anyone from MC?
  12. frogboy4

    frogboy4 Inactive Member

    The turnout was full, but not too crowded. I think Brian, Caroll and I were the only ones who initially recognized Dave Goelz. It took me a while. LOL!

    There were a few kids, but it was mainly 30-somethings. Makes sense to me because Sesame has been on the air for so long.

    I didn't see any MCers I recognized, but there was a girl who said she attended the fest and wore one of my buttons. Great. I'm the button guy now. :D I did mention MC several times in conversation so we got a lot of plugs! There was a guy in line that knew of us. I mostly socilazied with the Puppet Guild president.

    It was the best way to celebrate the work of Henson I could think of. Can't believe how that worked out. I did talk about the new Gonzo sculpt and I'm sure Dave heard me, but he didn't comment. If you haven't seen the new Palisades Gonzo head - go check out this week's bits immediately. :concern:
  13. Ol' Buddy Bert

    Ol' Buddy Bert New Member

    I'm not quite sure how to go about it either. I guess I was thinking not so much including the he said this or did that but rather all our comments about how kind, gracious and gentlemanly he is and how much we appreciated that.

    Really, that's thing that I've been repeating over and over again from my encounter with Mr. Spinney...that he was so genuinely kind.

    Anyway, if more than just the three of us our interested in this idea, I'll definitely put some more thought and creativity into it.\

    Scott J.
  14. Hays

    Hays New Member

    I think a group thank-you letter is a terrific idea. I'd love for him to know that we all learned the lessons he's been teaching us for years.
  15. mupvisiongirl

    mupvisiongirl New Member

    I just got back from the book signing over in San Jose, and everyone is right- Caroll Spinney is such a nice man. He's genuinely so caring, and it was such a treat to meet him! I think hearing Oscar sing "I Love Trash" in person pretty much made my year! :D
    I think a thank you letter is a great idea, he took out time to talk to each person while he was signing their books. He was just so gracious.
  16. beaker

    beaker Well-Known Member

    Cute WDW clerk girl has returned! ^_^;;
    Btw, Caroll did a book signing in San Jose??
    Errr...unless you meant San Jose in Costa Rica...hmmm...
  17. mupvisiongirl

    mupvisiongirl New Member

    Awww....you remember me! I feel all special! :D
    The book signing was in San Jose CA, in a tiny little children's book store. It was cute, but I don't think all the toddlers appricated Caroll Spinney's amusing anecdotes nearly as much as the parents!
  18. beaker

    beaker Well-Known Member

    Heh, of course! ^_^;; But yeah, I didnt even know he was doing other bay area stops. I was barely able to catch the Berkeley one. It was like a mini Muppetfest, heh. Yeah the toddlers seemed a bit bored by Caroll's musings, but when he brought Oscar out into the audience the kids really lit up(me included...I just had to make my way up to the front to meet oscar!)

    If you have any pix from the books top post em here! I have some really nifty ones I'll scan as soon as I get em developed.

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