Muppet Fan Testimonials: William Coppage

William Coppage  Last week I was texted by a friend asking me if I had ingested anything illegal on accident. My response was no, but I asked him why he might believe this. He said, “I was concerned with all the Muppet stuff you share on Facebook.” Now, because of all my Muppet sharing, many friends have returned the favor and shared with me their favorite Muppet YouTube clip. I have also been sent articles and Ebay links to memorabilia. At the end of the day, the consensus is that there is some magic in those puppets that take you back to childhood. It is a feeling that almost everyone can relate.

Both my wife and I are thirty-four. We have no kids, yet. But we both love the Muppets. I found out we shared our mutual love when I took her home to Mississippi the first time. I was born and raised in Greenville, MS. One afternoon we were sitting around the house. I told her of the Jim Henson Museum in Leland, MS (about seven miles from Greenville). She looked at me as if I stowed some deep, dark secret.

If you have never been to the Jim Henson Museum, it is a must for any fan. While it is small in size, it makes up for with its big heart. The museum sits on the banks of Deer Creek, which any fan could speculate the origin, whether conscious or not, of the idea of a frog and a creek and a banjo. Also Leland, to my understanding hosts the origin of Kermit’s name. One of the explanations of name Kermit is traced to Jim’s childhood friend, Kermit, who lived in Leland.

The museum is only three rooms. The main room is a gallery that has photos and one of the early puppets of Kermit. There is also a life-size Kermit that visitors can take pictures with. My favorite room, besides the gift shop, is another small gallery that hosts memorabilia that fans have sent in over the years. Many times some forgotten childhood memory is jogged in that room. I cannot count how many times my wife and I have visited the museum. Whether out of habit, or a feeling of pilgrimage, the journey back home always ends on the banks of Deer Creek.

So why are we all still in love with Jim’s creations? Is it the craftsmanship? Is it the personalities of the Muppets? I am sure we all gravitate to one or the other as our favorite. I don’t know. I cannot answer it. But I do know that still, as an adult, I am blessed at the love and creativity that I was able to witness. I can only hope that I do my part in sharing it.

The Muppet Mindset by Ryan Dosier,

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