I couldn’t sleep last night so I set my mind to working on this year’s theme for the Pittsfield 4th of July Parade: America the Beautiful – The Land That I Love.
My tired brain didn’t come up with any ideas. Last year the theme was Classic Movies and the theme of the city was Moby Dick. The idea was easy. Making a giant Moby Dick puppet, not so easy. There was a lot of designing, experimenting, researching with local folks about appropriate materials. Must say I learned a lot about making big puppets but most of all I learned that people think giant puppets are cool. The folks from the Pittsfield Cultural Commission and Greylock Credit Union carried the leviathan.
While I was building the monster I took the opportunity to listen to Herman Melville‘s book Moby Dick on CD. What a treat, actively learning about local history while making some of my own. I highly recommend the book. Of course it needs to be followed up by at trip to Arrowhead, Melville’s house where he wrote the book, and the book Ahab’s Wife by Sena Jeter Naslund.
Now when I just mention the Moby Dick puppet, eyes go wide, faces light up with the memory , “I saw that in the parade!”
Here is a picture of the model and the final product. Just don’t ask how long it took to make it.