The house i grew up in, 101 Main Street in Acton MA, is also the house that Caroll Spinney grew up in. Caroll Spinney is the man who has played Big Bird (and Oscar the Grouch) on Sesame Street since 1969. He grew up in this same house during the 40s & 50s, and taught himself puppetry there, and in the barn out back. When my parents bought the 1884-built house and restored it in 1978, they tore off old wallpaper and found cartoons he’d drawn on the walls of my bedroom.
Several years ago i wrote a letter to Caroll, introducing myself and sharing my memories of growing up in the house, and sending along some photos of the house that he might not have seen before.
My first letter never reached him, but my follow-up letter did. Here is what i received back from him, to my absolute joy, a short time later (click any to enlarge):
And he inscribed his book, “The Wisdom of Big Bird”, for me too:
As a kid raised on Sesame Street, i always felt special that i had a bond with Big Bird… and i still do.