There’s a museum in Ft. Mitchell, Kentucky that is a reminder that if you have a passion about something, collect it. If the Baked Bean Museum of Excellence isn’t proof enough, check out the Vent Haven Museum. Across the Ohio River from Cincinnati is collection of ventriloquist dolls that says if you have hundreds of a particular item, people will come. I found out about the museum in this New York Times article.
As a person who heads to northern Kentucky often, the museum is now on my places to see list. Someone in my mother’s family had a Charlie McCarthy doll that looked similar to the real deal that Edgar Bergen used in his act. The museum pays tribute to Bergen and has Charlie McCarthy as part of the collection.
The collection also pays tribute to creativity and kitsch. Click through the museum’s Featured Figures page on the Web site for a look-see into the breadth of the collection. To visit the museum, contact the curator, Lisa Sweasy. Click here for appointment information. As a note, the museum is only open from May 1 until September 30.
If you’re interested in picking up some ventriloquist tips yourself, head to the Vent Haven ConVENTion July 15-19. Professional and amateurs come here every year to develop skills and share know-how.
Also, Roadside America has a wonderful write up that recounts a visit. One of these days, I’ll have my own version. The lovely photo is of Jerry Mahoney, another dummy great.