[ read online ] Jim Henson: The Biography Autor Brian Jay Jones – Paydayloansnsi.co.uk

Jim Henson: The Biography Chapter OneThe DeltaDeer Creek winds casually, almost lazily, through the muggy lowlands in the heart of the Mississippi Delta Its point of originnear the little town of Scott, in Bolivar Countylies roughly ninety miles north of its terminal point at the Yazoo River three counties away But Deer Creek takes its time getting there, looping and whorling back and forth in a two hundred mile long amble, looking like a childs cursive scrawled across the mapThe town of Leland, Mississippi, straddles Deer Creek just as it twists into one of its first tight hairpin turns, about ten miles east of Greenville Established before the Civil War, the sleepy settlement, sprawled out across several former plantations, had taken advantage of fertile soil and regular steamboat traffic on Deer Creek to become one of the wealthiest in the Delta region In the s came the Yazoo and Mississippi Valley Railroad, along with an influx of grocers and landlords and innkeepersbut even with the growing merchant class and increasing gentrification, it was still land that mattered most in Leland, and in the Mississippi Delta In , then, the state legislature called for the creation of an agricultural experiment station in the Delta region, preferably at a point where experiments with the soil of the hills as well as the Delta can be made That point turned out to be two hundred acres of land hugging Deer Creek, in the village of Stoneville, putting the states new Delta Branch Experiment Station just north ofand practically butted up againstLeland By , the facility in Stoneville was housing researchers and their families from the US Department of Agriculture, carrying out research on crops, soil, and animal production for the federal government by , its findings on animal feed and insect control were particularly welcome to planters and sharecroppers doing their best to scratch out a living from the swampy Delta soil during the Great DepressionPaul Ransom HensonJim Hensons fatherwas neither a planter nor a sharecropper Nor had he come to the Delta region to work a family farm during the Depression or satisfy a random pang of wanderlust Paul Henson was a practical man, and he had come to Leland inwith his new wife, Betty, for a practical reason he had accepted a government post at the Delta Branch Experiment Station in StonevillePaul Henson came from a line of similarly sturdy and clear minded men who sought neither to offend nor agitate, a trait that Pauls famous son would inherit as welland, in fact, Jim Henson would always be very proud of his fathers rugged, even tempered Midwestern lineage On one side of his fathers family were the Dolton and Barnes linesgood natured, nonconfrontational, and accommodating almost to a faultwhile on the other were the Hensonspractical, rugged, and imperturbableOne of Jims favorite family stories involved his great great grandfather, a strongly pro Northern farmer named Richmond Dolton who, during the Civil War, had been living in a small Missouri town in which most of the residents were Southern sympathizers Rather than offend the Confederate sensibilities of his neighbors, the amiable Dolton simply swapped his farmin a typically equitable and businesslike exchangefor a similar one in a town in Kansas where the residents shared his own Union tendencies The move would come to be particularly appreciated by Doltons teenage daughter, Aramentia, though for reasonsprurient than politicalfor it was here in Kansas that Aramentia Dolton met Ransom Aaron Barnes, a New Jersey native who had settled in the area In , she and Barnes were married less than a year later, they would have a daughter, Effie Carrie BarnesPaul Hensons motherOn the Henson side, Jim could trace his pedigree back to colonial era farmers in North Carolina whose descendants had slowly pushed west with the expanding American frontier, setting up farms and raising families in Kentucky and Kansas One of those descendants was Jims paternal grandfather, a sturdy Kansas farmer named Albert Gordon Henson, who, in , had married Richmond Doltons levelheaded granddaughter, Effie Carrie Barnes After an ambitious though unsuccessful effort to stake a claim during the Cherokee Strip land runwhere he had rumbled into the dusty Oklahoma countryside in a mule drawn buckboardAlbert and Effie would eventually settle in Lincoln County, just east of Oklahoma City It was here that Paul Ransom Hensonthe name Ransom was borrowed from Effies father, Ransom Aaron Barneswould be born in , the youngest of Albert and Effies nine childrenEach morning, Paul Henson would be awakened at first light to do his chores and walk the half mile to school, a one room building crammed with fifty children and presided over by two teachers While Albert Henson never had much formal schooling, he was determined to make education a priority for the children in the Henson household With that sort of parental encouragement, Paul graduated from high school inat age nineteen, and immediately headed for Iowa State Collegenow Iowa State University, a school recognized then, as now, for the quality of its agricultural programs Over the next four years, Paul was a member of the agriculture oriented Alpha Gamma Rho fraternity, participated on the Farm Crops Judging Team the team would place third nationally in, and even discovered a knack for performance as a member of the Dramatic Club In July , he received his BS in Farm Crops and Soils, completing a thesis on the hybridization of soybeansFollowing graduation, Paul began work on his masters degree at the University of Maryland, enrolling in courses covering plant physics, biochemistry, genetics, statistics, agronomy, and soil technology One afternoon, while eating his lunch, he caught sight of an attractive young woman walking toward the campus restaurantwhen pressed, he would later admit his eyes had been drawn mainly to her legsand was determined to win an introduction The legs, as it turned out, belonged to Elizabeth BrownBetty, as everyone called herthe twenty one year old secretary to Harry Patterson, dean of the College of AgricultureElizabeth Marcella Brown was born in Washington, DC and raised in Maryland, but had lived in Memphis and New Orleans long enough to pick up both the lilting accent and genteel demeanor of a Southern belle The accent and the manners were fitting, for Betty had a refined, distinctly Southern, and generally artistic pedigree In fact, it was through Bettys side of the family that Jim Henson could trace his artistic ability, in a straight and colorful line running through his mother and grandmother back to his maternal great grandfather, a talented Civil Warera mapmaker named OscarOscar Hinrichsa swaggering Prussian who had immigrated to the United States inat the age of twobegan working as a cartographer for the United States Coast Survey at age twenty one, reporting directly to Alexander Dallas Bache, head of the survey and a great grandson of Benjamin Franklin When the Civil War began in , Oscar enthusiastically enlisted with the Confederacyeven smuggling himself into the South with the help of Confederate sympathizers in Marylandand loaned his valuable mapmaking skills to the Southern cause even as he survived battles at Antietam, Gettysburg, and the Wilderness After the war, Oscar married Marylander Mary Stanleywhose father had helped him sneak into the Confederacyand moved to New York City Over the next ten years, Mary bore Oscar six children, including one daughter, SarahBetty Browns mother, and Jim Hensons grandmother It was Sarah who inherited Oscar Hinrichss innate artistic streak, and she would learn not only how to paint and draw, but also how to sew, carve, and use hand toolstalents that Jim Henson would wield just as skillfully two generations later as he sketched, carved, and sewed his earliest MuppetsThe Hinrichs family eventually settled in Washington, where Oscar unhappily bounced between jobs, convinced employers were discriminating against him because of his service to the Confederacy Compounding his misery, Mary became ill with uterine cancer and died inat the age of fifty two Less than a year later, a grief stricken Oscar Hinrichs took his own life, leaving an orphaned fourteen year old Sarah to tend to two younger brothers Dutifully, Sarah dropped out of the art school into which she had just been accepted and moved with her brothers into a Washington boardinghouse For the rest of their lives, neither Sarah nor her siblings openly discussed Oscar Hinrichss sad demisea penchant for maintaining a respectful silence about unhappy circumstances that her grandson Jim Henson would also shareIn , twenty four year old Sarah Hinrichs was introduced to Maury Brown, a lanky, thirty four year old clerk and stenographer for Southern Railway Born in Kentucky on the day after Christmas in , Maury Heady BrownJim Hensons grandfatherwas a self made man with a rugged Southern determination Raised by a single mother who was totally deaf, Brown had run away from home at age ten and learned to use the telegraph, supporting himself by reporting horse racing scores for a Lexington racetrack A voracious reader and quick learner, he next taught himself typewriting and shorthand, eventually becoming so proficient at both that he was hired as the full time private secretary to the president of Southern Railway When he met Sarah Hinrichs in the winter of , Brown fell in love immediatelyand on their second date, as they ice skated on the frozen Potomac River, Maury Brown presented Sarah Hinrichs with an armful of red roses and asked for her hand While the newspapers inmay have noted the marriage of Maury and Sarah Brown, to each otherand to the rest of the familythey would always be Pop and DearFor the next few years, Pop and Dear bounced around with the Southern Railway, landing briefly in Missouri, Washington, Memphis, and New Orleans, and all while raising three daughters, Mary Agnes, Elizabeth, and Barbarabetter known as Attie, Betty, and Bobby Perhaps because they moved around so often, the Browns were an exceptionally close and good natured family I just thought we had the happiest home that ever was, Bobby said later And I remember what a shock it was when I would go to other peoples houses to sleep over and found out that all families werent as fun and nice to each other as ours At some point in his youth, Maury Brown embraced Christian Science, a relatively new faith that had been formally established inConsequently, the daughters were all brought up as Christian Scientists, though moderate in their practice, likely through the influence of Dear While the daughters might forgo most medical care in favor of prayer or homeopathic treatmentsas a girl, Betty was dunked in alternating hot and cold water baths to combat a case of whooping cough serious injuries were almost always attended to by physicians When Attie was badly hurt in a car accident one winter, the family immediately called for a doctorand far from being concerned about compromising her faith, Attie remembered beingembarrassed that the doctor had to cut away her long underwear to set her broken legEventually, the Browns returned to the DC area for good, living first in a perfectly awful place near the railroad tracks in Hyattsville, Marylandthe house would shake violently as trains roared pastbefore settling into the much quieter Marion Street inAttie and Betty were expected to help pay the mortgage each month, and shortly after high school both found work as secretariesAttie at an express company, and Betty at the nearby University of Maryland, where she, and her legs, soon caught the eye of Paul HensonPaul would woo Betty for the better part of two years, studying genetics and plant biology at the university during the week and attending regular tennis parties hosted by the Browns on weekendsand Paul quickly came to adore not just Betty, but the entire Brown family It was easy to see why Dear and Pop were devoted to each other, while the girls, both then and later, had distinct, almost Dickensian, personalities Attie was the serious and straitlaced one and became a devoted Episcopalian Betty was considered practical and no nonsense, though she could show flashes of a slightly silly sense of humor, while Bobby was the happy go lucky one who worked to ensure that everything was upbeat all the time All three, too, were excellent tennis players, having been taught to play at a young age by their dashing Uncle Fritz Hinrichs, who also taught the girls to dance Attie later admitted she couldve cared less about tennis, but the parties kept the Browns in the center of a wide social circle, and their names on the society pages of The Washington Post Jim Henson vibrantly delves into the magnificent man and his Muppet methods Its an absolute must read Neil Patrick Harris An exhaustive work that is never exhausting, a credit both to Joness brisk style and to Hensons exceptional lifeBrian Jay Jones tells the story of how Henson turned a quaint art form into an entertainment empire The New York TimesA sweeping portrait that is a mix of humor, mirth and poignancy Washington Independent Review of Books SuperlativeJones draws upon new interviews with family and friends, reams of archival material, and Hensons own journals to provide a nuanced study of a preternaturally gifted, relentlessly driven artist Los Angeles Review of BooksA meticulously researched tome chock full of gems about the Muppets and the most thorough portrait of their creator ever craftedAssociated Press Jim was one of my closest friends And yet I found out things about him in Jim Henson that were new to me Brian Jay Jones has captured the layers of Jims genius and humanity, as well as the flaws that made Jim, like all of us, so delightfully imperfect I thank Brian for giving Jim life again This book has captured the spirit of Jim HensonFrank OzIlluminatingAs Jones expertly shows, Henson remained throughout his life an artist who was continuously in motion, conceiving, pitching, and managing multiple projects at once The Atlantic Consistently surprisesHighly readable and never long winded even at nearlypages , Jim Henson joyously documents its subjects knack for combining old fashioned puppetry with the worlds newest entertainment medium to forge a kind of furry, felt covered vaudeville The Wall Street JournalThis is a biography that earns the label definitive The Dallas Morning NewsAninsightfullook at the gentle artist Parade Compulsively readableevocative Much has been written about Hensonduring his life and afterbut nothing with the same sense of authority and access as Jim Henson The Biography The AV ClubThere are so many enjoyable aspects to this book that its hard to know where to start Jim Henson The Biography is a fantastic story of a brilliant life cut short, but it can also be read as a blueprint for following your bliss BookPage Jim Henson The Biography feels comprehensive without bogging down it will keep readers turning pages and enjoying every scene from Hensons life Shelf AwarenessSure to be savored for its exhaustive look at the late Muppet master Variety MasterfulJones continually shows that Henson left the world a better place, which serves as the book s theme Jim Henson can be enjoyed by readers ofthan one generation Kirkus ReviewsThe story of the innovative puppeteers life that Muppets completists have been waiting forThe section on Hensons death and funeral is one of the best parts of the bookmoving and elegiac I dare you not to cry Hollywood ReporterBrian Jay Joness lucid style, wide angle perspective, and deep immersion in Hensons exuberantly innovative approach to puppets, television, and film make for a thoroughly compelling read With verve and insight, Jones illuminates the full scope of Hensons genius, phenomenal productivity, complex private life, zeal to do good, and astronomical influence Bookliststarred review Brings to light a spirit of love, warmth, wit, and so muchLibrary Journal The books most engrossing passages explore the extraordinary technical demands of creating naturalistic puppet spectacles in the age before computer graphics performing a Muppet was an intricate, almost contortionistic dance of two puppeteers crammed into a single sleeve A fascinating making of documentary Publishers Weekly I loved it Brian Jay Jones vividly portrays Jims journey, and also the intersecting journeys of his colleagues and friends In spite of the fact that Jim and I worked together closely for many years, there were compartments of Jims life that I hadnt known about before I was completely involved and couldnt put the book down A tremendous jobDave Goelz, Muppet performer Gonzo, Boober Fraggle, Bunsen Honeydew This is not only a superb biography for the Jim Henson and Muppet fans but also a sensitively written portrayal of a great and unique human being that will fascinate any and all readersFran Brill, actress, Sesame Street performer Brian Jay Jones, in this marvelous tale of struggle and triumph, tells us how and why Jim Henson and his Muppets have rightly assumed their places in the pantheon of American creative geniuses alongside Walt Disney and Mickey, and Dr Seuss and the Cat in the HatPaul Reid, co author of The Last Lion Winston Spencer ChurchillDefender of the Realm Every Muppet fan has wondered who was behind the wide mouthed, bug eyed, furry creatures Before now all we had was a credit line Jim Henson Now, with Brian Jay Joness riveting Jim Henson, we have a nuanced portrait of the puppeteerpart genius inspired by his Mississippi Delta roots and his Christian Science faith, part flawed human with tastes too rich in everything from his art and cars to his womenthat brings new understanding of and empathy for an icon of American popular cultureLarry Tye, author of Satchel and Superman From the Hardcover edition

About the Author: Brian Jay Jones

Is a well known author, some of his books are a fascination for readers like in the Jim Henson: The Biography book, this is one of the most wanted Brian Jay Jones author readers around the world.

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