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Philosophy

The Dancing Duckman roving puppet show is founded on the notion that there is something very special about being a little kid. It is a time of freedom to be one's self and open to new things, no matter how silly, simple, or common in material, and effort. It’s about a period of time full of hope, eagerness, and the joy of life. We adults need entertainment that remind us too of this place within our hearts.

If, through the art of puppetry and the spirit of pretend, combined with great music and meaningful stories, we can create a place for little kids to dream, it will be a job well done.

It is the mission of this act to establish and preserve an entertainment environment and activities that nurture these ideals.

 

Biography:

Jerry Luther was raised in a small courtyard apartment in North Hollywood, California. Jerry was an only child whose mother died early in his childhood leaving him a latchkey kid who spent the 1950s watching puppet shows like 'Beany," and "Howdy Doody," and westerns like "Bonanza." He lived blocks from Universal Studios, and many of his friends, and their parents, worked in the movies and TV. Jerry did puppetry and told stories, some of which were regarded as rather "tall."

Jerry put in his military time trained in communications and jumping out of perfectly good airplanes with the 82nd Airborne. He holds the distinction of having the most jumps with a stuffed dog "Brandy" in his ammo pouch and using a rubber tipped blow gun to harass the cadre by sticking darts to their helmets. He also created an entire street full of potato suds while on KP (kitchen duty).

He studied business communication systems and was corporately trained in Hollywood, California, as a presenter, trainer and public speaker. He gained wide popularity using his comedic inclinations and mixing them with dry technical material. In 1973, at age 30, he left California and joined the Pacific Northwest back-to-the-land movement.

In Spokane, Washington he took up woodworking, created a street performing character called "The Hooeyman," and partnered with a smallish marionette duck, named Bruce. Together they roamed the Pacific Northwest, selling hooey sticks with a medicine show routine reminiscent of the early 1900s. Jerry also combined the medicine show with traditional puppet theater.

Teaming up with his wife Becky and son Travis, they formed the Hooeyman’s Medicine Show that made and sold duck marionettes at art and craft festivals throughout the Northwest. Between 1975 and 1991 the family made, demonstrated, and sold and taught, kids how to use and untangle close to 5,000 marionette duck puppets. The Dancing Duck Review has performed over 1,000 30-minute roving sets. The family made a wide range of fine wood items besides toys and received several awards.

The Duckman no longer sells puppets, but has continued to dance ducks as a performing artist in local events and Canadian children’s festivals. The Dancing Duck Review has appeared in several TV news articles, event commercials, and as a featured artist in the State of Idaho’s centennial video series The Spirit of Idaho. Mayor Miller of the City of Sandpoint recently proclaimed the Duckman as its "Good Will Ambassador" .

Jerry recently retired from MultiLingual Computing, Inc., where he held the position of Senior Research Editor

Sandpoint Magazine article