Redit Interview with Caroll Spinney (Big Bird) -- grab a tissue

Discussion in 'The Pub' started by EricPeterson, May 7, 2015.

  1. EricPeterson

    EricPeterson Member

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    http://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments/356sal/hi_reddit_im_caroll_spinney_the_puppeteer_who_has/

    Q: What has been your most meaningful interaction with a child during filming? Or maybe from someone who grew up watching you and relayed a poignant story?

    A: [–]CarollSpinney 3911 points 4 hours agox3
    Okay, here's one.
    This is a very sad story, but it's real.
    I got a letter from a fan who said his little boy, who was 5 years old, his name was Joey, he was dying of cancer.
    And he was so ill, the little boy knew he was dying.
    So the man, in his letter, asked if I would call the little boy. He said the only thing that cheered him at all in his fading state was to see Big Bird on television.
    So once in a while, he wouldn't see Big Bird on some days, because he wasn't necessarily in every show. So he asked could I telephone him, and talk to the boy, tell him what a good boy he's been.
    So I took a while to look up a phone, because this was before cell phones. And they got a long cord to bring a phone to the boy.
    And I had Big Bird say "Hello! Hello Joey! It's me, Big Bird!"
    So he said "Is it really you, Big Bird?"
    "Yes, it is."
    I chatted a while with him, about ten minutes, and he said "I'm glad you're my friend Big Bird."
    And I said "I'd better let you go now."
    He said "Thank you for calling me Big Bird. You're my friend. You make me happy."
    And it turns out that his father and mother were sitting with him when the phone call came. And he was very, very ill that day. And they called the parents in, because they weren't sure how long he'd last.
    And so his father wrote to me right away, and said "Thank you, thank you" - he hadn't seen him smile since October, and this was in March - and when the phone was hung up, he said "Big Bird called me! He's my friend."
    And he closed his eyes. And he passed away.
    And I could see that what I say to children can be very important.
    And he said "We haven't seen our little boy smile in MONTHS. He smiled, as he passed away. It was a gift to us. Thank you."
     
  2. TheGuildedAge

    TheGuildedAge Member

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    I made fun of Sesame Street and Mr. Rogers as a kid, but as a father of two in my 30s, we need a lot more like that in the world and a lot less of other stuff.
     
  3. A-Bone

    A-Bone Montonero, MOY, Multitudes Gold Supporting Member

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    Speaking of touching moments with Big Bird:

     
  4. Jiffy_Jeff

    Jiffy_Jeff Playin Tunes and Having Fun! Silver Supporting Member

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    He was there when I grew up. Loved Big Bird and Suffaluffagus (sp?)
     
  5. derekd

    derekd Supporting Member

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    Thanks for the warning, Eric, and thanks for posting that.
     
  6. bsacamano

    bsacamano Member

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  7. jhc

    jhc Senior Member

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    Damn onions
     
  8. Tylenol Jones

    Tylenol Jones Member

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    Wow. I wish a lot of members would read this and understand that the petty arguments they get into are all over silly things.

    Stories like give us some perspective.
     
  9. skronker

    skronker 2010/2013/2015 S.C. Champions Gold Supporting Member

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    a simple kindness, a consciousness and consideration for another human in need

    a very powerful action that demonstrates what is best in humans
     
  10. EricPeterson

    EricPeterson Member

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    I lost it trying to tell the story to my wife - not sure why this is so powerful but damn - God bless
     
  11. popinvasion

    popinvasion Supporting Member

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    Mr Rodgers and the original sesame street were amazing. I lived for those shows.
     
  12. A-Bone

    A-Bone Montonero, MOY, Multitudes Gold Supporting Member

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    My allergies starting really acting up as I read that story.
     
  13. cj_wattage

    cj_wattage Vendor

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    Sweet mother, that's a sad tale. *sniff*
     

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