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the personal ruminations of william e. elston



the personal ruminations of william e. elston


  • Marionette by William Addison Dwiggins.


547 words

An old clip of Frank Paris, the man who originated Howdy Doody, performing with his marionettes.

In 1994 I began collecting puppets; marionettes, hand puppets, sock puppets, shadow puppets, stick puppets, puppets from Indonesia, Turkey, Thailand, China, Europe and elsewhere. I had been interested in puppets and ventriloquism as a child, even performed regularly with what is now called a ‘vent figure’. My vent figure was a highly modded commercially available character named Jerry Mahoney, by Paul Winchell. My father wrote scripts on yellow legal pads, primarily old vaudeville jokes that he remembered from his childhood. I had an agent that booked me into VA hospitals and local children’s television shows like ‘The Captain Cy Show’, where I would be sandwiched in between the Popeye cartoons and the kids picking their noses. I did this from age 9 through half of my tenth year.


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William E. Elston is a professional artist and teacher living in the Pacific Northwest. He has exhibited for over 40 years, and has works in numerous public and private collections, both in the region and internationally. He is best known for urban and rural landscape images. He is also a founding member of the Northwest Figurative Artists' Alliance.

Aside from teaching painting, Mr. Elston also teaches karate, and has yondan rank in the World Seido Karate Organization.