Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover:
Every year since 1999 my wife Anne and I have taken a trip to a different part of the United States and visited attractions, wonders, and events we didn’t have back home in Indianapolis. From 1999 to 2003 we did so as best friends; from 2004 to the present, as husband and wife. My son tagged along from 2003 until 2013 when he ventured off to college. We’ve taken two trips by airplane, but are much happier when we’re the ones behind the wheel — charting our own course, making unplanned stops anytime we want, availing ourselves of slightly better meal options, and keeping or ruining our own schedule as dictated by circumstances or whims. We’re the Goldens. It’s who we are and what we do.
For years we’ve been telling friends in other states that we’d one day do Atlanta’s Dragon Con, one of the largest conventions in America that isn’t in California or New York. We’d been in Atlanta, but we hadn’t really done Atlanta. Hence this year’s vacation, in which we aimed for a double proficiency in Atlanta tourism and over-the-top Dragon Con goodness. Before we went to D*C, there was the road trip to get there, and the good times to be had before the great times at the big show.
DAY THREE: Tuesday, August 27th.
When we first began vacation brainstorming months ago, the Center for Puppetry Arts was among the top choices on my half of our list for a number of reasons. It’s a modest museum packed with puppets from around the world and across centuries, many of which you’d recognize from beloved movies and TV shows of your youth and mine. Of all the creators and craftsmen celebrated within their halls, none is represented in greater depth than the one and only Jim Henson.
If you were a fan of Sesame Street, The Muppet Show, Fraggle Rock, or such films as The Dark Crystal or Labyrinth, chances are I don’t have to explain who Jim Henson was or his impact on the advancement of puppetry as a storytelling and entertainment medium. To the rest of you, there’s your explanation. Henson’s significance is so integral to the museum and to puppetry itself that he had the honor of cutting the ribbon when the Center opened in 1978.
If you’ve been following MCC for a bit, you may recall I previously posted a batch of Puppetry Arts photos from our Atlanta hotel. Assembling full-size photo galleries is unwieldy and time-consuming whenever we’re out of town and still on location, but I couldn’t resist sharing imagery from the Center’s special exhibit, a collection of original puppets and props used in the making of The Dark Crystal. As it happened, we were in Atlanta the same week as the world premiere of the Netflix prequel series The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance. First I tested the online waters by sharing one (1) photo with a film critic who’s a massive puppetry fan and who’d given the series a glowing review. Emboldened by a positive response from other people besides the voices in my own head for once, I rushed my phone pics of the exhibit into a new MCC entry that Tuesday evening.
The works of Henson as well as Jim Henson Studios, during his lifetime and after, compose half the Center’s exhibits. The following is a sampling of the myriad personalities, histories, and warm childhood memories we wandered among.
To be continued!
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