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Wanted Lumberjack

Related threads:
Folklore: Limberjacks/Jig Dolls (27)
Jig Doll Appreciation Group (3) (closed)
Help: Looking for a limberjack (5)
Limberjack question (22)


Ma-K 19 Apr 00 - 10:41 PM
Barky 19 Apr 00 - 10:55 PM
Mbo 19 Apr 00 - 10:58 PM
Metchosin 19 Apr 00 - 11:07 PM
Sandy Paton 19 Apr 00 - 11:50 PM
Crowhugger 20 Apr 00 - 12:02 AM
GUEST,JenEllen 20 Apr 00 - 12:11 AM
Dale Rose 20 Apr 00 - 12:16 AM
Ma-K 20 Apr 00 - 12:34 AM
Barky 20 Apr 00 - 12:58 AM
Seamus Kennedy 20 Apr 00 - 03:05 AM
Ma-K 20 Apr 00 - 08:58 AM
alison 20 Apr 00 - 09:23 AM
MMario 20 Apr 00 - 09:28 AM
Mooh 20 Apr 00 - 10:15 AM
Ma-K 20 Apr 00 - 01:28 PM
GUEST,Mbo_at_ECU 20 Apr 00 - 01:34 PM
Sandy Paton 21 Apr 00 - 12:47 AM
Sourdough 21 Apr 00 - 04:08 AM
Rex 21 Apr 00 - 12:50 PM
Ma-K 21 Apr 00 - 05:28 PM
Willie-O 21 Apr 00 - 06:00 PM
Sandy Paton 21 Apr 00 - 08:01 PM
Bev and Jerry 21 Apr 00 - 08:58 PM
DADGBE 22 Apr 00 - 12:54 AM
Sourdough 22 Apr 00 - 01:32 AM
Willie-O 22 Apr 00 - 07:47 AM
Sandy Paton 22 Apr 00 - 11:59 AM
Mbo 22 Apr 00 - 05:12 PM
GUEST,Richie 07 Oct 02 - 11:15 AM
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Subject: Wanted Lumberjack
From: Ma-K
Date: 19 Apr 00 - 10:41 PM

Do any of you have a pattern or know where I could find one on the net? I am looking for the little wooden man that dances on a paddle. Thanks Mary


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Subject: RE: Wanted Lumberjack
From: Barky
Date: 19 Apr 00 - 10:55 PM

"Oh, I'm a lumberjack, and that's OK,
I sleep all night, and I work all day!
I cut down trees, I eat my lunch,
I go to the lavatree.
On Wednesdays I go shoppin'
And have buttered scones for tea.

CHORUS: I cut down trees, I skip and jump,
I like to press wild flowers.
I put on women's clothing,
And hang around in bars.

I chop down trees, I wear high heels,
Suspenders and a bra.
I wish I'd been a girlie
Just like my dear papa."

Song ends in tears and insults. Ah, the laughs you get from Monty Python...

~Barky


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Subject: RE: Wanted Lumberjack
From: Mbo
Date: 19 Apr 00 - 10:58 PM

Not sure Ma-K...but you might have more luck finding it under "limberjack" as they are commonly called.

--Mbo


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Subject: RE: Wanted Lumberjack
From: Metchosin
Date: 19 Apr 00 - 11:07 PM

Ma-K, if you can't find it on the Net under Limberjack, I may be able to get the pattern from a friend, as he made one for my daughters when they were small. I'll see if he had a pattern or just made it from scratch. (may take a bit of time)


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Subject: RE: Wanted Lumberjack
From: Sandy Paton
Date: 19 Apr 00 - 11:50 PM

Take a look here: LIMBERJACK DESIGN for a drawing of one obviously based on the one we sell at Folk-Legacy, developed by David Bredemeier and me back in about 1962. I thought I got the name "LimberJack" from George Armstrong, but he later assured me that I hadn't. Whatever, that's the name I knew for it, and we've been making them ever since, and that name has really gotten around! We've found traditional examples called "Dancing Dan," "Jack Limberlegs," "Yankee Doodle Dancer," "Clogging Man," "Paddle Puppet," etc.

When Peter Kennedy sent me photographs of old Harry Cox, the great East Anglian traditional singer, to use with my recording of his English Love Songs, one was of old Mr. Cox dancing a LimberJack in front of his cottage -- nice model, too, with sort of Dutch wooden shoes for clogs. We've seen other examples from England, Ireland, Scotland, Germany and from what was then Rhodesia.

Reading a collection of quotations once, I came across a French political quip dating to 1730: "So-and-so is as useless as a puppet without the board he dances on! Must have been referring to a LimberJack-type of puppet.

Sandy


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Subject: RE: Wanted Lumberjack
From: Crowhugger
Date: 20 Apr 00 - 12:02 AM

Barky, that's exactly what I started singing to myself when I saw this thread title!

Singing & dancing on a paddle,` CH


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Subject: RE: Wanted Lumberjack
From: GUEST,JenEllen
Date: 20 Apr 00 - 12:11 AM

*wiping away tears* Thanks Barky, I needed that!


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Subject: RE: Wanted Lumberjack
From: Dale Rose
Date: 20 Apr 00 - 12:16 AM

Getting back to the limberjacks, I've seen Cleda Driftwood dance one a good many times. When she would get tired, she'd just let the dancer flop over on the board. The musicians would usually take that as the cue to end the song at the next stopping point.

Here's another site which features the limberjack, how to make him dance, even an animated gif which (sort of) demonstrates the motion.


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Subject: RE: Wanted Lumberjack
From: Ma-K
Date: 20 Apr 00 - 12:34 AM

You people amaze me. Thank you all for the good info


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Subject: RE: Wanted Lumberjack
From: Barky
Date: 20 Apr 00 - 12:58 AM

Just remember that being a lumberjack is OK!!!

~Barky


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Subject: RE: Wanted Limberjack
From: Seamus Kennedy
Date: 20 Apr 00 - 03:05 AM

He sits on the corner of Beggar's Bush
Astride of an old packing-case
The dolls on the end of his plank were dancing
As he crooned with a smile on his face:
"Come day, go day, wish in my heart it was Monday,
Drinkin' buttermilk all the week,
Whiskey on a Sunday."

All the best,
Seamus


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Subject: RE: Wanted Lumberjack
From: Ma-K
Date: 20 Apr 00 - 08:58 AM

I have a son-in-law how was a lumberjack and he is number one top draw. I've got to get out to shop and start cutting. Seamus, that in beautiful, what a picture


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Subject: RE: Wanted Lumberjack
From: alison
Date: 20 Apr 00 - 09:23 AM

I got one from Folk Legacy, he is now painted and looks like a leprechaun, (one of these days he'll have Sean Connery's face on him... Sean the leprechaun) and I have a lovely dinosaur one too (from Elderly instruments.)

slainte

alison


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Subject: RE: Wanted Lumberjack
From: MMario
Date: 20 Apr 00 - 09:28 AM

My Dad used to make limberjacks for grandkids...I remember his favorite was a bear. He also did a horse, but had trouble getting all four legs to work right.


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Subject: RE: Wanted Lumberjack
From: Mooh
Date: 20 Apr 00 - 10:15 AM

I was hoping this was a help wanted ad! Mooh.


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Subject: RE: Wanted Lumberjack
From: Ma-K
Date: 20 Apr 00 - 01:28 PM

If you really want a job we have a few trees to cut in the yard. Doesn't pay much but you can use the computer. We expect you to keep up the yard and carry out the garbage. You can work yourself into more responsiblity.. Have a good day..Mary


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Subject: RE: Wanted Lumberjack
From: GUEST,Mbo_at_ECU
Date: 20 Apr 00 - 01:34 PM

I bought a limberjack at a craft fair in Augusta, Georgia about 9 years ago. So cool! My Mom took it's plain, boring white pine surface and painted him like a member of the Union Army during the Civil War. I was a HUGE Civil War buff back then! I Lived and breathed Civil War! But boy, could that little Sergeant dance!

--Mbo


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Subject: RE: Wanted Lumberjack
From: Sandy Paton
Date: 21 Apr 00 - 12:47 AM

We always found that a good hardwood (walnut, cherry, maple) danced with a better sound to the tapping than did the softer woods like pine. A bit more vigorous, too.

I have a cousin-in-law in south central Pennsylvania who tells me that her father used to make LimberJacks for the kids as Christmas gifts during the depression. She said they called it a "soople-jack", even though they all knew the real word was "supple." The father would go to the drugstore and get old wooden cigar boxes that were being thrown away, and would fashion the puppets from the "re-cycled" wood.

We were told of an old deaf-mute in Huntington, Vermont, (before we moved there in 1961) who made LimberJacks for the kids in the village. I'm not sure, now, which of the many names we've collected for the toy was the one the village folk used.

One of the most beautiful examples I've ever seen was a carefully hand-carved model with boots and top hat from the late 1800s, made in Ridgefield, Connecticut. About the ugliest I ever saw was a huge, three-foot model from Louisiana, painted to look like a grotesque black-face minstrel character and called a "Dancin' Sam." There are certain elements in our traditions that would best be left behind.

Sandy


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Subject: RE: Wanted Lumberjack
From: Sourdough
Date: 21 Apr 00 - 04:08 AM

There was a street musician in San Francisco that had a three foot tall limberjack dressed in a Renaissance costume. The paddle was activated by his foot. He bounced it up to hit the feet of the dancer who was hung from a metal rod bent over into a hook.

Many years ago, my wife and I were invited to a Christmas party at the home of a Mr. Wood in one of Chicago's most affluent suburbs. Actually, we weren't invited directly, we were accompanying a mutual friend who had known Mr. Wood since she was a little girl. The Woods' Christmas party were a tradition in her family. Although she told us how nice an older couple they were, she had neglected to tell us details about Mr. Wood or his home.

To our suprise the Wood's home was stunningly attractive. The foyer was two stories high and was large enough to show off a ccollection of antique wooden indians. The most striking feature of the foyer was an extraordinary wallpaper, murals twenty feet high and forty feet long, painted on canvas, relating the history of the discovery of tobacco in the New World. The murals had been painted more than two hundred years before and had once been on the walls of a Frech palais. The impression that these were museum quality images was reinforced by the paintings on the walls of a gracious and comfortable living room. THey were painted by artists whose name would be familiar to any art student and could have hung with pride on the walls of any small museum. In fact, I recognized two of the paintings, but these were the originals.

It would be easy, from my brief description, to get a distorted idea of Mr. and Mrs. Wood.

My wife soon discovered that she and Mrs. Wood shared a hobby. Mice! Both women raised mice. Yes, breeding and raising mice does fascinate some people. Within minutes after we had entered this, "mansion" is not too strong a word, my wife, in excited conversation conversation with Mrs. Wood, was heading off to see her mice which she kept in cages in one of the upstairs bathrooms in a bathtub.

While they were off comparing mice-notes, Mr. Wood and I were getting to know each other. He had, he said, a passion for old-timey music. In fact, one of his friends had collected some great performances from the twenties and thirties. He'd given Mr. Wood a wonderful collection of about a dozen 78rpm disks and had, for convenience, made an LP copy. Mr. Wood played the custom record for me. He clearly loved the spirit and excitement of these old country recordings. It turned out that Mr. Wood was President of Sears Roebuck and it seems that the man had the spirit usually associated with the readers of the Sears catalogs.

As I listened to the jug band and old-timey music, I realized that Mr. Wood would love a limberjack. When I described the puppet to him, he was intrigued. He said he had never even heard of one. He wanted to know where I had gotten it. It was clear he wanted one. "It was mail order", I explained. "Do we carry it?" was his natural reply.

I told him that it was from a place in Vermont and that I would be pleased to order one for him. "That's very kind of you", he said, "but there's no need for that. If you give me the address, I'll order one myself."

I explained to him that I would order it and send it to him. "There is no way that I am going to pass up a chance to send a mail order item to the President of Sears Roebuck."

In fact, I did get to send the President of Sears a limberjack and received a very nice thank you note. Ever since then, my own limberjack has had a name, Mr. Wood.

Sourdough


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Subject: RE: Wanted Lumberjack
From: Rex
Date: 21 Apr 00 - 12:50 PM

Eric West plays music for kids. He also has been a bit innovative in the props he comes up with. In particular a whole slew of limberjacks and other limberbeasties. My favorite is his limberspider. Yep eight legs dancing on a board with a round end painted like a spider's web.

Rex


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Subject: RE: Wanted Lumberjack
From: Ma-K
Date: 21 Apr 00 - 05:28 PM

Wow, you all have given me so many ideas I don't know where to start. Since we are involved will BSA. we could do a danceing Braden Powell or a OA Indian dancer or or or or or........oh dear I can see I have alot of work to do........thanks again...Mary


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Subject: RE: Wanted Lumberjack
From: Willie-O
Date: 21 Apr 00 - 06:00 PM

In Quebec they are known as "Bonhommes" (bonOMM).

A certain satirical magazine has been known to refer to Premier Lucien Bouchard (who lost a leg a few years back) as "Bonhomme's Evil Twin."

sorry.

W-O


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Subject: RE: Wanted Lumberjack
From: Sandy Paton
Date: 21 Apr 00 - 08:01 PM

That LimberJack for Mr. Wood must have come from us when we were still in Vermont! Right, Sourdough? Thank you for the story.

Based on an old and moderately crude model we saw in Bristol, Vermont, we made a "foot-tapper" version, too. The one that inspired us was made by an old-time fiddler who would activate the dancing man while fiddling for kids in the neighborhood. Sort of a scaffold arrangement with the stick extending over the board, suspending the puppet at the proper height. The board was placed over a fulcrum which allowed the foot to tap on one end, raising and lowering the other end to come into contact with the puppets feet. Is that at all clear? If not, go see My Side of the Mountain with Theo Bikel (I think that's the name of it, or something very like that). We gave one to Theo when he admired it at one of the early Fox Hollow festivals, as he was on his way to Canada to make that film. In the movie, you'll see him playing guitar and harmonica, while tapping his foot to dance the dressed up version of our LimberJack. Ah, fame and glory to the family!

Sandy


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Subject: RE: Wanted Lumberjack
From: Bev and Jerry
Date: 21 Apr 00 - 08:58 PM

See the November 1983 issue of Better Homes and Gardens for detailed plans for making limberjacks in the shape of animals. This magazine has a chicken, donkey, sheep, and a cow. We share limberjacks with kids during our school programs and, in addition to the men, we have a horse, a cat, a chicken, a pig, a dinosaur, and an elephant.

Also, contact Jean's Dulcimer Shop, P.O. Box 8, Highway 32, Cosby, TN, 37722, 615-487-5543. They sell limberjacks in the shape of almost any animal you can think of plus some you can't.

Bev and Jerry


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Subject: RE: Wanted Lumberjack
From: DADGBE
Date: 22 Apr 00 - 12:54 AM

Boy, this thread takes me back! I visited the Patons in Vermont in 1965 where I saw their early limberjacks. When I got back home to the Bronx I found a piece of scrap walnut and made one which I hinged together with sewing pins. Sandy claimed that it looked like me.

It's one of the few things that remains in my life from that time and I wouldn't part with it. Thank you Sandy.

Hey everybody, make yourselves a limberjack ASAP. It'll save you beaucoup bucks because they're better than psychotherapy.


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Subject: RE: Wanted Lumberjack
From: Sourdough
Date: 22 Apr 00 - 01:32 AM

Sandy Paton:

I still have "Mr. Wood". I have taken hom with me on thousands of miles of motorcycling. Usually I cary a dulcimer and some harmonicas as well as Mr. Wood. I have had scores of children in campgrounds pick him up and discover that they could make him dance. It is such fun to introduce him to children and it gives me an excuse to play for their parents, too.

I think I ordered it from an ad I saw in Vermont Life, or possibly New Hampshire Profiles. I really hope that it is one of yours. It would seem so appropriate, somehow.

I have a question for you. I need a new board for Mr. Wood to dance on. Do you have any suggestions how I might get one?

Sourdough


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Subject: RE: Wanted Lumberjack
From: Willie-O
Date: 22 Apr 00 - 07:47 AM

"My Side of the Mountain"? I think I saw that, isn't that the one where the young boy runs away from home and goes to live in a hollow tree in the woods (obviously). Infinite improbability drive kicks in, probably after he fashions a clay chimney by hand to keep the hollow tree from smokin', then gets a visit from...a wandering folksong collector?

He was definitely livin in a hollow log, I don't remember if he drank muddy water...

W-O


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Subject: RE: Wanted Lumberjack
From: Sandy Paton
Date: 22 Apr 00 - 11:59 AM

Sounds like our movie, Willie-O, and our LimberJack, too, Sourdough. The chap who was then making them for us in his garage workshop advertised in several publications like Vermont Life. When this fellow moved on to greater things, he turned the actual production over to a sheltered workshop in Vermont. They made them for us for many years. Now our models are produced for us by a woodworking "novelty" company, still in Vermont.

We gave up using solid woods for the paddle board some time ago, Sourdough. They were pretty classy, but they tended to split along the grain when sat upon by wiggly youngsters (and fat oldsters on curved-bottom chairs). Now we use a three-ply board with a maple surface, sort of like the wood of a good old-fashioned T-square. Gives a nice hardwood sound and is flexible enough to provide plenty of bounce. Any decent building supply outfit should be able to provide you with a small piece of it. Just cut and sand.

Sandy


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Subject: RE: Wanted Lumberjack
From: Mbo
Date: 22 Apr 00 - 05:12 PM

Yeah! I remember seeing "My Side of the Mountain" when I was about 11, and it was the first place I ever saw a limberjack, and thought it was SO cool! That was why I was so excited later that year when I found one at that Georgia craft fair!

--Mbo


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Subject: RE: Wanted Lumberjack
From: GUEST,Richie
Date: 07 Oct 02 - 11:15 AM

Lyr. Add: JACK LIMBERLEGS

I went to the market sell some eggs,
There I spied Jack Limberlegs.
Twas limber legs and limber toes,
Two black eyes and a teapot nose.

Old Nan Tucker son-in-law
Biggest fool I ever saw.
He wore his shirt outside his coat,
Buttoned his britches up 'round his throat.

My gran-mammy lookin' like she been sheared,
'N gran-pappy he had a great ling beard.
He looked like his face was carved in stone,
He looked like a goat but he had no horn.

You talk about your honey but you ought to see mine,
She's humpbacked, bowlegged, crippled and blind,
She ain't so good lookin' but she dresses mighty fine,
Maybe some day she'll be divine.

I went to the market sell some eggs,
There I spied Jack Limberlegs.
'Twas limber legs and liber toes,
Two black eyes and a teapot nose.

Notes: Reiner & Anick (Old Time Fiddling Across America), 1989; pg. 118. A limberjack is a wooden doll with hinged limbs which 'dances' when place on a wooden strip that is then sprung.

Thought Sandy Paton might be interested in this.

-Richie


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