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RE: my latest work and long reply with Mr. and MissPotatohead story...


Date: Thu Feb 03 2005 - 06:24:22 PST

Amanda, I really enjoyed looking at your work. Very clever,
entertainingly bizarre, and interesting lighting/compositions. I would
have loved to have worked on this with you, and would not have scoffed
at your tiny stage, haha.

Several years ago, to spice up life in our school and create some
laughter, two other teacher friends and I stole the headmaster's potato
head collection from his office windowsill (with the help of his trusty
secretary). We left a note on the windowsill from them, begging him to
understand that they needed a life and some excitement. The window was
left cranked open. He had introduced them to Lower School in chapel
just the week before, so we knew this would generate some excitement.
We created a photo story about their disappearance, a la Flat Stanley.
The truth is, they were bored and needed a vacation. Too much dust on
the windowsill, etc. The first thng they did was to get on a bus and
head to Galveston. We had photos of them on the bus, on the beach
building sandcastles, headed into the surf, etc. Ludicrous. The post
cards, as well as their travel logs would appear weekly on the cafeteria
windows. Nobody but the four of us knew their wherabouts for several
months. One day we took them to a House of Pies for breakfast, where
they were photographed on the breakfast table of whoever was sitting
next to us that day. They were starving and had begged their way onto
the table to partake of some of their food, but to their horror, things
like cottage fries were on the plates, and they were hungry, but they
were NOT cannibals, for crying out loud. (picture their little plastic
arms up in the air, the mouth and eye selection for that day was to
reflect horror.) The chef from this restaurant actually took them into
the kitchen where we photographed them in front of the griddle trying to
learn to be fry cooks in order to to earn a living (no free lunch) to
support themselves out in the big world...but of course this failed too,
as they simply could not cook their kin as french fries (poor Monique!),
cottage fries, hash browns, etc. Then, they found money on the ground
in the parkng lot (all photographed) and went next door to the grocery
store searching for food. We have photos of family reuinions in
produce, photos of them singing "potato potahto, tomato, tomahhhto"
atop the potatos and side by side tomatoes, grieving in the canned goods
at the shoestring potatoes, inside the deli case mourning Uncle Fred and
Aunt Ida in the Potato salad bowl, all chopped up but looking so rested.
Each week these photos and their story went up on the cafeteria windows
and people would just howl over them. The headmaster was mentioning
their mysterious disappearance and adventures in his chapel talks. Too
dang funny. One Saturday morning, my cohearts and I went to NASA
(really) where one of them had a boyfriend who worked in mission
control. Three technicians actually dressed them in aluminum foil space
suits, and we photographed them at the controls and computers, on the
moon, and surrounding the actual desk model of the shuttle on the flight
commander's desk. Well, those were truly amazing photos. I wish we
could think of another prank to pull that would be that much fun. In
the end, they were homesick and wanted to go home. The only problem
was, how to get back up on that windowsill. They tried standing on top
of each other, didn't work, everybody ended up in pieces. They
reassembled and found a catapult. Really. And there are photos of them
catapulting back into the open window, back into the arms of the
secretary. SO funny. One of them hit the wall, oh well, and Paula the
secretary helped put her back together. We even bought a couple of new
ones for his collection and left one dressed in it's little space suit,
the other was spray painted green all over for halloween when it dressed
as a pickle. During that week it had appeared in the Lower School
Office Halloween Display in the witches kettle.
I never laughed so hard in my life as those Saturday mornings. People
who were around us laughed too, and were always willing participants in
our ridiculous fun.
I am going to show your photos and my photos from Potatohead days to my
photo kids and see if anyone wants to do something with toys. Thanks
for sharing. Linda

Linda Woods

Visit our student's web art gallery at St.John's School
 click on "Stories of SJS," click on "Arts Stories," click on Linda
Woods' name. View artwork by Lower, and Middle School students as well
as our art archives.