Our Construction Diary
Page 75

Special 2003


Ping Pong's Puppet Workshop


Bye Bye, 2003



My Gosh, He's awake



Wow, keeping up with making web pages is a lot like exercising at the gym -- If you don't keep doing it, the days, and weeks, and months, and a whole year just slide on by. Now, in January 2004, I don't even know what we were doing in January 2003 - - I do know that I didn't take any pictures, so I guess the shop was dark and we were resting.

For those of you who have viewed most of these pages, here's a picture proving that our intrepid companion Aaron doesn't sleep ALL the time.


Perseus & his Mommy

The Greae Sisters


The puppets we built for the Tears of Joy show, Perseus, Hero of Ancient Greece, came back for a tuneup. After their run in downtown Portland as well as countless elementary and middle school performances, they needed some touchups before they went back out on the road. All in all, we were pleased at how well they had survived the rigors of the road.


February also saw the beginning of two projects which never quite made it off the ground. The River Otter shown in the foreground was to be a walkaround character for a local library system. "We'll have the grant approved any day now". They (and we) we so sure of it, that we got started on the head sculpt.

Wellllll..., they didn't get the grant, so they didn't get the costume (and we didn't get paid). We got left with a giant lump of clay that is still sitting on the workbench in the shop.


Beginning the River Otter head sculpt


"Larry" was to be the monster in a low-budget horror movie. He was to be quite big, as shown in the picture on the left, below. The costume was to fit over two human costumees, and their legs would be inside the monsters' legs. It was to be about seven feet tall and ten feet long and four feet wide.
Welllllll..., at least we got paid for the sculpt.

The Monster men


Larry Closeup



Finding ourselves with lots of unfilled (i.e. non-revenue) time on our hands, we decided to do some work on our house. We moved our offices upstairs, painted, put down some new rugs, and wired up our computers. We also unwired them as well, installing a wireless network to connect them together. You can see the results in the before and after pictures below.

An office before

An office after


A Bedroom before

A bedroom after


Another office before

\Another office room after



Then, since the old office on the first floor seemed so dingy and dinged from hard use, we converted it into our library, since we had moved all of our books out of the upstairs to make room for the office.


The old office


The new library



May and June found us back at puppet work again. The Northwest Pride Festival hired us to do a puppet version of Meco's Wizard of Oz. We only had six weeks to build it all, including 27 puppets as well as the up to 15 foot-tall buildings you can see in the back of the photo of the model.
The puppets are life size and are worn on or carried by the puppeteers. To see the poster we created for this event,
click here.

Stage model for Wizard of Oz

John Bechtel with Glinda

Oz build begins- The Village People

Dorothy's Pink Motorhome -- why else a tornado???

The Tin Woodsman - a tribute to recycling


Are you a GOOD Witch???


Performance day



Geordie Humphrey, one of our Oz puppeteers, came to us with an irresistable project.
|Lets take a bicycle, no let's make that TWO bicycles, and turn them into a giant dragon.
Well, why not?
The head was made of foam rubber, fabric, and our favorite, PVC pipe,
and the body was made of bamboo and fabric..
It was an entry in a midnight bike-decorating contest that later paraded (bicycled?)
through the streets of Portland.
It turned out to be not only an entry, but the Prize-Winning entry
in TWO different categories.


The Dragon Head



The front of the dragon


The finished dragon



Well, if its July, it must also be the Sherwood, Oregon Robin Hood Festival. We were back again for another round of this fun-filled mid-summer event.
This year, they asked us to help spruce up their festival booth; design some giant plywood panels to be painted with knights, damsels, and dragons; and train their Maid Marion's Court to perform the puppet show The Adventures of Robin Hood, which we built for them last year.

The booth - before

The booth - after

Phil McGuigan as Robin Hood

The finished plywood panels


St. Wolfgang Members


Maid Marion's Court perfoming



Marty's Brother Steve owns several rental houses in Portland, Oregon. Marty takes care of them while Steve lives in the Micronesian Islands. (Think Guam and then move a bit east). This summer it was time to do a "fluff" on one of them while it was between tenants. Steve, (Overton, not Marty's Brother), Bill Holznagel & Marty spent most of August and September repainting the interior, upgrading the fixtures, sanding the floors, and generally restoring the house to a much nicer condition than it had been.

The bathroom-before

The kitchen - before

The living room - before

The bathroom after


The kitchen - after


The living room - after


September also found us back once again in Seattle, Washington for the Annual Italian Festival. They're real nice folks and take really good care of us while we're there. This year, we concentrated on upgrading the set, adding some new boxes upon which we could perform to elevate the puppets for better audience viewing.


Dan DeMoy and the new Pinocchio props


Steve with Miette and Pinocchio




October in Overton Land means Halloween. This year, Steve's Mom wanted to go all out with her exterior Halloween props, so we got busy making and finding some new ones. We had some old full-size cardboard coffins as well as some plastic skeletons. With a wave of our hand, voilá, a skeleton Pirate Ship.


The Pirate Ship in progress

The Finished Pirate Ship

Some store bought blow ups


Again this year we had to hurry, because we were off on another adventure, this time to New Orleans and Orlando. We arrived in New Orleans in time to spend the weekend before Halloween there, and then it was off to Disneyworld, Epcot Center, Disney Animal Park, MGM Grand, Universal Studios, and Islands of Adventure. Did I leave any out??? Don't worry -- we hit them all.

It looks just like in the coffee table books

Dueling Dragons -- Islands of Adventure

Fireworks at Disneyworld


Well, actually Mid-November. We get back from warm and fluffy Orlando to find some cold and fluffy stuff outside one week later. The picture was taken on November 19th -- very rare for snow to fall in Portland so early. A promise of things to come -- another storm closed the Portland airport for three days in early January, and there's promise of more to come. This is after two years of no snow of all.
We got to perform our Christmas production, Who is That Reindeer this year for the first time in about three years. It felt wonderful to do it again, for it was a show we did year after year for about 15 years in both California and Portland.
We put a new display on our porch this year, utilizing some elements we've had in storage for many years, as well as some of the pieces we built for The Wizard of Oz.

November 19, 2003 snow in Portland Who is That Reindeer Performed Christmas Decorations on our front porch

We hope that this gives you a quick update on what 2003 was like for us.
Hopefully there will be some more pages sooner than a year from now.
Happy new year to you all,
Steve & Marty

To contact Ping Pong or the Museum Staff Click Here

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All text and photos © 2004, Olde World Puppet Theatre

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