Monday, September 24, 2012

Museum Day Outcast No. 1: Ventriloquist Museum

Kenny Talk
September 29 is National Museum Day (sponsored by Smithsonian Magazine). In the run-up to the big event, I'm going to pay homage to some institutions you won't see on the list.

First up: the Vent Haven Ventriloquist Museum in Fort Mitchell, Kentucky (just outside Cincinnati, Ohio). Jeepers creepers! When you first glimpse the roomful of goggle-eyed wooden heads staring mutely into space, I dare you not to run screaming for the door. (If you’ve seen Magic, you know what dummies are capable of.)

Woody DeForest
Local William Shakespeare Berger started the museum after amassing a collection of some 700 dolls. Today Jacko the red-fezzed monkey, white-turtleneck-clad Woody DeForest and the rest of the crew sit silently throughout three buildings. Lest you think the entertainment form is history, stop by in July, when the annual conVENTion takes place and 400 ventriloquists arrive with their talkative wooden pals.

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