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Will There Ever Be Another Blog?

A 13 inch wax statue of Jean Forbes-Robertson as Peter Pan from 1930 by Agatha Walker.

A 13 inch wax statue of Jean Forbes-Robertson as Peter Pan from 1930 by Agatha Walker.

My goodness, I can’t believe how long it has been since I’ve posted something on this site. It’s not for having nothing to write; I have just been so busy with directing chores at school and painting watercolors for a children’s book I’m writing. Meanwhile, I am still looking for Peter Pan ephemera and other items and art related to the stage versions of the play. While I have some interesting Disney memorabilia, I am generally not attracted to them. Perhaps the reason I find past stage versions of the play so fascinating is that (in most cases) there are only reviews, programmes, flyers, posters, and other forms of ephemera available. Not so, however, with Jean Forbes-Robertson, who can be heard on the 1940 78 RPM records of Peter Pan along with Dinah Sheridan (who, sadly, recently passed away) which are available on a Sepia Records CD, 100 Years of Peter Pan.

While I was in London three years ago (I need to go back!) I was at a

Photo portrait of Jean Forbes-Robertson as Peter Pan.

Photo portrait of Jean Forbes-Robertson as Peter Pan.

friend of a friend’s home, who casually stood up and brought out a beautiful wax statue of Jean Forbes-Robertson as Peter Pan. I was amazed at the likeness and artistry of this little work of art by Agatha Walker in 1930 and immediately coveted the sculpture. (No, I was not rude enough to tell my friend’s friend about my feelings for his statue. I let my friend tell him later!) And of course, there are others out there, such as the one in the V & A Theatre Museum. Two weeks ago I was able to acquire a statue of my own which is pictured here. (And no, I did not steal from or kill my friend’s friend.)  The sword has shifted but otherwise the statue is in remarkable condition. I am thrilled to have this work on display in our home (and that Dale does not mind my addiction to Pan).

Violet Hollom and ChildrenA few months ago Katherine Hollom sent me photos of Violet Hollom who played one of the twins in Peter Pan (and actually was able to play Peter at least once when Pauline Chase was ill). The photo seen here portrays Violet later in life and with her children. Violet, as you might recall, was the sister of Herbert and Ernest Hollom. Thanks so much, Violet, for allowing me to use this photo on this blog.

Finally, it saddens me to report that one of our Flossies, baby Flossie, died on Sunday. From the beginning it was clear that something was wrong with her but Dale and I could not “destroy” her. We separated her from her sister Flossies and a week later she was walking again. Six months later, on the eve of Hurricane Sandy, Flossie lost use of her legs again and again we were advised to end her life. And again we could not. Instead, we brought her in the house when it was cold and fed her in the kitchen. Then on Christmas Eve., Dale ran in to tell me that we had a Christmas miracle; Baby Flossie was walking again! In a few days she starting laying eggs. We were egg-static. I guess by this time we really thought the Baby was going to be with us for a long run; that she was unsinkable. But Saturday afternoon Flossie lost the use of her legs again and by Saturday night she was no longer eating. The following day she could hardly move and she was breathing quite heavily. Still, I thought that she could survive this latest bout. She made one last valiant effort to get up (or rattling if you prefer) and then passed away.

Baby Flossie, who in her better days, was the star of the sister act, The Fabulous Flossies.

Baby Flossie, who in her better days, was the star of the sister act, The Fabulous Flossies.

Now I know she was only a chicken and that chickens are not so bright but  have known people who were not so bright and only people and I still have mourned for them. And so I cried, dale cried, and our zoo has changed.

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Discussion

4 thoughts on “Will There Ever Be Another Blog?

  1. Good to see you posting again! Congratulations on the F-R statue, that’s really impressive. I like it very much indeed. My only Peter Pan items to report are seeing Cathy Rigby for the 4th time (over 20 years), right after she herself turned 60. An amazing performance, and no allowances had to be made. She’s still as boyish as ever, and her flying, if anything, is even more incredible. I am certain no other Peter Pan has ever been so dazzling aloft. I took four girls (ages 10-14) to see it and all of them loved it. Brent Barrett hadn’t quite got Hook’s measure at that point, but he was acceptable.

    Then there’s the umpteenth release of the Disney version, this time on Blu-Ray, looking marvelous, with a few new extras. I first saw this when I was five, and it colored my entire childhood. We lived in an apartment above a dime store in Chicago, just a couple of blocks from the lake, and across the street was a movie theater. I made my mother take me to see it three times. And I had all the Little Gold Books and Little Golden Records of it. I wore the records out. Ah, memories!

    It sounds like you are having a nice life, Bruce. I am sorry about Baby Flossie. It always hurts to lose a beloved pet, as I well know.

    Posted by Dan Patterson | February 21, 2013, 3:19 AM
  2. Hi Dan! Thanks so much for your message. Sorry that I have been so long in writing a post. I really enjoy writing on this site and hope to be more consistant. So glad to hear that Rigby is still so effective as Peter Pan. She is an amazing lady.
    I have the Disney Pan on laser disc and an earlier DVD so i’m not sure if i will invest in the Blu-Ray. It would be wonderful if the Mary Martin version could come out in Blu-Ray though. Several years ago, when they were not prohibitively expensive, I ought quite a few DVDs of the Martin version to give as gifts to friends and students. Now I only have my copy plus (I’m ceatin) a bootleg which was issued when the originals Good-Times video DVD version began selling for over $100! Yikes!

    Posted by Bruce K. Hanson | February 21, 2013, 2:57 PM
    • Hi Bruce! My only “complaint” about the Rigby PETER PAN is that the version is heavily cut now, very streamlined, and I regret any loss of Barrie’s whimsy and humor. But it works very well for kids, never bogging down, and “Ugh-a-Wug” is a showstopper, as it was for Sandy Duncan. Her flying curtain calls are a particular delight, as she soars into the audience multiple times, scattering her “fairy dust.”. I’ve got the Martin DVD, of course, and bootleg DVDs of her 1955 and 1956 performances.

      The 3 disc Disney Blu-Ray includes a couple of new extras (a nice documentary on the Nine Old Men), plus it has a Blu-Ray disc, a DVD, Digital Copy disc, and a “Storybook App” whatever the heck that is. I don’t really need to play the movie on my phone, so I’m ignoring that stuff. But if you have the 2007 DVD release, you get almost all the same extras, plus the picture gallery, which I haven’t found on the new set. I will say the Blu Ray is sharper and I noticed more textural details this time around. But then I’m now watching it on a 64 inch plasma screen, which I never had before. Send me your address privately, I’ll see you get a copy.

      Michael Emyrs keeps telling me “they’re” going to release the Martin version in a deluxe set featuring both the earlier kinescopes. I think that may be wishful thinking, but who knows? The 1960 tape could certainly use some digital refurbishing.

      It’s amazing the hold this play has had on our lives, isn’t it? I stiff love it, after all these years.

      All the best!
      Dan

      Posted by Dan Patterson | February 21, 2013, 3:46 PM
      • How is Michael? Please say hello to him for me. I still remember when my former wife, Donna, and I drove to his home in (hmm…was it outside Philly?) and he shared his thoughts about Peter Pan as well as allowing me to photograph various photos from his cllection. Although I ended up not using any of the photos, I wanted to make sure that I included his thoughts from the TV guide article he wrote.
        A 64″ television? Wow! I had no idea they came that big. We have a flat screen TV that is about 30 inches across (I think). Actually, I’m excited about the release of Easter Parade on Blu-Ray. My favorite Disney film remains Snow White. Perhaps it’s the innocence of that piece that dears me to it. Of course Peter Pan, especially the straight satge version, has so much more going on.
        My son, Drew, and his wife, Jesi, are planning on starting a family soon. It’s amazing, this growing up thing, isn’t it?
        All My best too!
        Bruce

        Posted by Bruce K. Hanson | February 22, 2013, 1:20 AM

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