A Mother-Daughter Banquet and a Budding Puppeteer-1978

Len Addington By Len Addington, 8th May 2018 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Family>Religion

As we live our lives and participate in events we can never anticipate when someone we meet will later become a celebrity or household name. In 1978 I met a high school student who was a puppeteer and later moved on to greater things than performing at school or Church functions.

The Event-an annual Mother-Daughter Banquet

For many years Fork Christian Church in northern Baltimore County, Maryland had a Mother-Daughter Banquet on the Saturday before Mother's Day to honor the beloved mother's In the Church. The occasion brought out many daughters, mothers, grandmothers and occasionally a great-grandmother. All of the daughters, mothers, grandmothers, and great-grandmothers were dressed in their finest and appeared to be the most beautiful women on earth. The men of the Church enjoyed this event as much as the women, as it was an opportunity to prepare and serve them an excellent dinner.

Mother's Day

As the plans for the annual Mother-Daughter Banquet for 1978 progressed it was agreed that a young puppeteer would be asked to be the entertainment for the evening. The young man was in his junior year of high school and lived in a neighborhood called Turner's Station. I was asked to drive to his home to pick up his various puppets and props and bring him to the banquet. Because of the large number of women who had signed up for the banquet, the Bel Air Fire Department was chosen as the site for the event.

The Puppeteer

I was given the name and the address of the young man who would be entertaining the mothers and daughters at the banquet. I met Kevin at his home and helped him to load his many puppets and costumes into my car. We talked about Kevin's interest in puppets, and he stated that his mother had taught him how to sew so that he could make new costumes or puppets as his imagination prompted him.

An Evening to Remember

The Mother-Daughter Banquet was attended by over 200 women and their daughters. Kevin's many puppets, their costumes, and his presentation were incredible. Not only were accolades given to the performer that evening, but for weeks afterward I was told by the women of the church how much they enjoyed that evening at the banquet.

Fast-Forward A Few Years

My wife and I later had our own children and they were encouraged to watch Sesame Street and other appropriate children's television programs. We saw there were new characters being added to some of the programs with the coming of each new season. We learned of the puppet Elmo, who quickly became a favorite of many children and went on to become one of the favorite toys in the Christmas season. In 1996 one of the favorite toys for children was Tickle Me Elmo. In 2008 Elmo Live was another new toy as a favorite for children.

An Unexpected Surprise

As Elmo gained popularity it was inevitable that his creator would become a celebrity as well. Kevin Clash was suddenly on television discussing puppeteering, his creativity and the blessing he experienced at the encouragement of his mother during his early years. In watching one of the television interviews of Kevin Clash I realized this was the same young man I had picked up at his home in Turner's Station and had been the entertainment for the Fork Christian Church Mother-Daughter Banquet in 1978.

I recently found the bulletin from Fork Christian Church from 40 years ago announcing the upcoming Mother-Daughter Banquet. I remembered meeting Kevin Clash, the aspiring high school puppeteer, who enjoyed performing for others and made a wonderful event even more wonderful!


Elmo, Kevin Clash, Mothers Day

Meet the author

author avatar Len Addington
I worked as a Counselor for 40 years. I gave my clients dignity and worth and modeled a life of integrity. I will post articles on careers and counseling and anecdotes.S

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author avatar Glenn Addington
12th May 2018 (#)

Good memory on your part- with the details and such. I had completely forgotten about that; good choice for an article!!

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