Latest issue of Screamin’ Mamas Magazine from Florida. Cover is of Linda Seccaspina with her Elvis puppet on Bridge Street in Carleton Place shot by our local Lanark County gal Sherry Crummy.
Everyone knows I love puppets and worship the ground iconic Noreen Young walks on. My house used to be featured in the opening of the old CBC show Hi- Diddle-Dayand I even have a room devoted to puppets. They are not expensive ones, but just the ones that have been given away to thrift shops. Everyone and everything needs a loving home.
I found this ad in one of the old Carleton Place Canadian newspapers at the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum last week and I knew I had to search for an update about Laird Keller. I don’t know this man from squat-but what was he doing decades later? What I found was not what I expected to find. I sadly found a crowd-funding page.
You can help Laird afford to give his 53 year old partner (dummy) away, so the dummy can go on long after Laird is gone. 60 years as a Ventriloquist, and at one time Canada’s youngest ventriloquist.
Making it in show biz has always been Laird’s love, but it doesn’t always pay the bills. He had planned on traveling around to Fairs to perform when he retired. (From the age of nine years old Laird has entertained at children’s parties, store openings, hospitals and when old enough, weekend in night clubs.) Alas this is not to be. Like most in his family he smoked. Not anymore, but to late to stop from getting COPD. Now if he walks 9 feet from the bathroom, he has to sit down for 2 minutes to catch his breath. An entertainer at Country Fairs is not going to be.
Woody, his partner is his concern, after all he has been by his side for 53 years. Costing a lot of money at the time of creation, with a present value to Laird of priceless. Laird has a very short time left, but like most people didn’t save up for this ailment. He can sell his partner Woody to a collector to keep on a shelf and just rot, or give him away to some young performer that can’t afford to buy his own dummy.
This makes 2 people who can’t afford to do what is right, Laird to sell and the young performer to buy.
Here is what he would like to do. Collect a small offering from many people so as Woody can be passed on to a young starving ventriloquist. At the time of his passing all contributors will be offered a ticket to his last performance (my funeral). Woody will be sitting on top of his closed coffin, thanking everyone one for coming. I dare you to see his lips move.
After this his wooden pal, (dummy) will be given to someone who needs him, all with the support of all you people.
This was the last item I posted about Laird… Today is his birthday and I found out he passed away in 2019. I am heartbroken…
Thank you everyone for the kind condolences, thoughts and memories.
We will be holding a Celebration of Life for Laird Keller. All friends and family are welcome to join us for a drink and share some stories at Ye Olde Orchard Pub … and if we are truly honouring my Dad, even naps are permitted.
Sunday, November 3, 2019, from 2:00 – 4:00pm
Ye Olde Orchard Pub & Grill (the Bridge Room) 66 Boulevard Salaberry S, Châteauguay, QC J6J 4J5 (450) 692-5454