16 May 2010

Jim Henson - 20 Years Later

Edit: I wrote this on the anniversary, but was not sure if I wanted to post it. Then I remembered something...no one (other than like two people) reads this, so here you go.

I will always remember this day. Twenty years ago, the world lost two great entertainers, Sammy Davis, Jr. and Jim Henson. The latter had a huge impact on my life.

Growing up and being a child of immigrants, I was brought up by television. PBS was the channel of choice as it was free and educational. One of my favourite two hour blocks was back to back episodes of Mister Rogers Neighbourhood and Sesame Street. Like many from my generation, I learned my alphabet from Sesame Street, I learned how to count from The Count (Ha-ha-ha). This was quite useful since we did not speak English in the house, the only English I heard was at school and what ever was on TV. You could say I learned how to speak English from Big Bird and his friends.

In 1990, I was a sophomore in high school. During third period, in Mr Johnson's Economics class, I would always read the paper, usually to check hockey scores. On the morning of the 16th, I found out that Jim Henson had died early that morning in New York. I remember feeling something I had never felt before, and I did not know what it was. For the rest of the day I just did not feel right.

During lunch, I just sat there on the bench. Then, it hit me. As much as I tried to hold back, I could not stop the tears from flowing out my eyes. Yeah, I cried. I tried to hide it, but it was pretty obvious that something was bugging me...and that I was totally crying like a baby.

Jim Henson had a huge impact on my life, from The Muppet Show to Sesame Street, from Fraggle Rock to The Dark Crystal. I look back on my life and I realise now much he influenced me. It was probably him and his work that lead me on an artistic/creative career path. Heck, I not only still play with toys, I make them.

Thanks, Jim, for all you have done for me. I miss you.

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