What no one really understands is how muchother creative stuff was going on in my father’smind. Jim spent almost all of his wakinghours in some form of creative activity, whichwas as natural for him as smiling and walk-ing are for other people. What he producedwas only a fraction of all the ideas that he had,and what we generally see today is only a frac-tion of what he produced. He packed so manyprojects into a single year that it was hard foranyone to keep up with him, and it was evenharder for him to remember exactly what hadhappened when. Thus his keeping of the littlered book.My father used the book to remember fam-ily milestones, such as what year we went toHawaii, or bought the station wagon, or whenthe baby started school, but he also wanted toremember how many commercial campaignshe did in a year, and when each puppeteercame to work for the Muppets. He wanted toremember when the family got a new dog aswell as when the Valentine’s Day special withMia Farrow was shot. He kept all of those datesin a simple chronology, mixing family andprojects indiscriminately. It shows how blurrythe boundaries were in his mind between hiscreative and family life, and these juxtaposi-tions are interesting on a very personal level.For instance, by reading his chronology, I dis-covered that I was born five years to the dayafter his show
Sam and Friends
premiered.When I was six, he flew home from perform-ing in Anaheim with Jimmy Dean for mybirthday party. And in both 1976 and 1977 hecelebrated my birthday on the ship
on hisway to England for
The Muppet Show
. He alsodocumented each and every time that I visitedhim after I went to college. He was a devotedfather, and his journal is full of references tospecial family trips and one on one time spentwith each of his five children.
and that he performed the most famous Muppet of all,Kermit the Frog. Many people also know about hisother popular television productions, such as
, and his work on
. And his devotedfans are aware of the groundbreaking fantasy films
The Dark Crystal
, into which he pouredso much imagination and craft.
Everyone knowsthat Jim Hensoncreated the Muppets,
I ma g I n a t I on I l l u s t r a t e d