by: DAVID F. ASHTON - Stephen Overton (the human in the middle) shows Hobie Baker's 'Blind Puppeteer' marionette and Janet Bradley's 'Big Bad Wolf' two of the many famous creations featured in this month's 'Puppets of Portland' exhibit in Sellwood.Opening this month in Sellwood will be an exhibit that’s bound to delight longtime Portlanders.

“It’s called ‘The Puppets of Portland’,” said Steven M. Overton, proprietor of Ping Pong’s Pint Sized Puppet Museum of Portland on S.E. Umatilla Street.

“It will feature puppets from 15 puppet companies of the greater Portland area,” Overton said. “On display will be everything from shadow puppets, to rod puppets, to string puppets – and the new wave of stop-animation puppets.”

Highly-treasured exhibits feature legendary puppeteers from Portland, such as Janet Bradley of “Tears of Joy”, also Esther Heydt of Puppet Patch, and puppets by Hobie Baker.

“Even though he was blind, Hobie sculpted all his puppets from memory, ranging from Marilyn Monroe to Howard Cosell to Jimmy Durante,” Overton said. “He would then operate them, entertaining thousands of fans, even though he was totally blind.”

Another favorite is the “Big Bad Wolf”, Overton said – a puppet that was one of Janet Bradley’s favorites. “It was gifted to her when she visited Prague, Czechoslovakia.”

Bob Griggs, the creator and actor of the long-running “Bumpity” locally-produced kids show that ran for years on KATU, is presenting his green, “bump on a lawn” character – and perhaps Fred Worm, as well.

Young, upcoming stop-motion puppeteers Odessa Godoy and Megan Harris will also have some of their not-so-normal-looking creations on display.

“By featuring Portland-based puppets from across the decades, this is an exhibit that will delight both young and old,” assured Overton.

Ping Pong’s Pint Sized Puppet Museum of Portland is located at 906 S.E. Umatilla Street. For hours, and other details, call 503/233-7723, or go online to:

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