04 April 2007


I've had the sad looking stuffed dog to the left since I was four. Maybe even earlier than that.

I've been doing his voice for as long.

I remember naming him Pepper. It was a cold, dark night in the family car, Mom and Dad in the front seat, me in the back with my new toy. The way I recall it, Pepper was a gift from my grandmother. I struggled to read his little tag, to see what his name was. In retrospect, it was probably something like "Patchy," but lit by random streetlights it looked like "Pepper" to me.

Pepper was my 'best friend' in the way that only a stuffed toy can be. We went everywhere together. At age five, I had a habit of falling asleep to music playing on an old 8-track player. "Best of the Beach Boys" and Elvis and Herb Albert's "Rise". That music would serve as my soundtrack as I fell asleep clutching Pepper close, dreaming about the two of us flying around in a biplane and sword fighting with crab monsters.

When Pamela and I were first engaged, and a staph infection sent her to the hospital in Little Rock, I brought her Pepper on my first trip to see her. (This is the only time I've ever given Pepper to another person.)

Our beloved dalmatian Holly got a hold of Pepper once, and chewed one of his ears off. Felicity yanked out his stuffing and bit off his eyes. So naturally, he is not looking so hot these days.

Well, I'm doing a duet with fellow Write Act Rep company member Jenn Scuderi for our upcoming 'Vaudeville' fund raiser, and I need a puppet. I was struggling to come up with an idea when it hit me. I'm going to resurrect my old friend Pepper. You can see the sketch in the pitcure: A simple puppet that matches the original coloring and captures the spirit of who Pepper is. I'm even planning on laundering my old chum and recycling him into the very fabric of the 'new' Pepper!

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