Did you know that Chuck T. Rooster once met Oscar the Grouch, and Oscar said he was a “good looking turkey”?
Well, it happened!
At an International Puppetry Festival in San Francisco in 1991, I had the wondrous privilege of meeting and talking with Caroll Spinney, AKA Big Bird and Oscar on Sesame Street. Caroll gave a presentation before a packed audience talking about his years working with Jim Henson(who had died just a few months earlier) and his previous work before Sesame Street. It was a wonderful time getting to know this endearing, gentle man and I will cherish that memory forever. Also, Pam Arciero, who performs Oscar’s girlfriend Grundgetta, was there, and it was a hilarious time seeing them all interact.
We even got to come up onstage afterward and get photos with Caroll, talk to him and Oscar briefly, and in general just say hello and have a good time at the close of the presentation. I had Chuck with me, and I couldn’t wait to see what Oscar said to him. The master Grouch did not disappoint; when it was my turn to get up there Oscar looked Chuck up and down and said, “What a good-looking turkey!” (Oscar , if you’ll remember, often called Big Bird a turkey)
My photo—taken by dear longtime puppet pal Kathy Letto— of this meeting got lost somehow, and I had lamented this often when I wanted to join in discussions of famous people I had met! Luckily, out of the blue, my very talented friend David Stephens of All Hands Productions was also in attendance. He sent me this over Instagram last night at the time of this writing, and I was overjoyed.