Wednesday, November 29, 2006

International Tourist Destination

Regular readers might remember my earlier posts about Comedy Central’s “The Stephen Colbert Show” coming to Colbert County, Alabama. Last night, they finally aired part one of the three-part feature on this little town in northwest Alabama, and Stephen’s bid to open a museum about himself. Stephen sent his lackey Tad since as he phrased it, “This is ‘Deliverance’ country.” Nah, Stephen, but I’ll let it pass.

In part one, Tad meets the mayor and visits the Helen Keller Museum where he tries to tell the director a Helen Keller joke and borrow the pump where she learned to say, ‘water.’ By the end of the segment, Tad has successfully located a storefront for the museum, and tonight we get to see the grand opening. Comedy Central repeats the show at 7:30 p.m. CST.

Christmas Countdown – 26 days


Jay Croft said...

I'm one-up on them. Two years ago I actually borrowed the pump--at least, a replica of the pump used in their summer production of "Miracle Worker."

They also loaned her baptismal dress and some toys.

This was for the "History Through Deaf Eyes" exhibition, a traveling exhibit sponsored by Gallaudet University. It was at the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute.

Maybe if Stephen Colbert had asked nicely . . .

Sheila said...

That's interesting, Jay. I would like to see their production. I remembered learning about Helen Keller's life as a schoolgirl in Alabama. Only later did I read more about her and her ideas.

Jay Croft said...

There's something special about seeing the play (which is professionally produced) at the very site where she was born and grew up.

It's a long drive up there, so you would need to stay overnight somewhere.

when you're there, look for the replica of the corbel of her face, from the Washington National Cathedral.

For History Through Deaf Eyes I borrowed a plaster cast of the corbel (a figure at the top of a column). I had originally raised $700 back in 1982 to have it made, because a national association of deaf-blind people was having a convention in DC, and Helen Keller is buried in the Cathedral.

For many years this case was on display at the Cathedral. Blind and deaf-blind people especially appreciated the opportunity to touch it. The corbel is 13 feet above floor level at the Cathedral, so the cast was the only way for them to experience it.

When the exhibit at theBCRI was over, we carefully re-packed it and sent it to the Cathedral. Unfortunately, it broke in shipping.

Fortunately, modern methods utilizing latex brought the cost of two reproductions down to $400. One is now in the Cathedral as a replacement. The other is at the HK birthplace in Tuscumbia.
I had the privilege of presenting it to the HK birthplace in June 2005, along with the president of the Alabama Association of the Deaf.

Sheila said...

I am amazed by Helen Keller's story and told my son a little about her politics which he didn't know about. I'm not sure how many Alabamians know that they have a Socialist on their state quarter. Ha. If I can ever get up that way, I'd like to visit her home. We just have so much history in this state.

Kilroy_60 said...

I thought featuring Helen Keller on the Alabama state quarter was a great choice. Although, I have always loved the "Heart of Dixie" license plate.

Jon Stewart/Stephen Colbert is, I think, one of the best hours on television. Colbert makes me laugh when the facade cracks and he cant' stop from laughing at himself.

Sheila said...

kilroy, if you looked through my archives, you certainly know I'm in complete agreement with you about Jon Stewart/Stephen Colbert. And yes, I like it too when Stephen can't help himself and starts to crack.