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Vent Haven Museum

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Figure of the Month
February 2006:


Figure Name: Rosita

Date Created: 1943

Created by: Bill Hume

Used by: Bill Hume

1. Rosita was donated to Vent Haven Museum by ventriloquist Bill Hume in 1992.
2. The character of Rosita was supposedly from Panama, and the figure really was from Panama.
3. While Hume was a U.S. naval officer stationed at the Panama Canal during World War II, a USO-sponsored troupe held tryouts for military talent. Hume, a vent before the war, had none of his figures with him. A shipmate procured some balsa wood for Hume, and he carved Rosita himself.
4. Hume stated that in the end it was fortunate that he had used balsa wood because the balsa wood made for a light figure that he could carry "in unpredictable situations."
5. Rosita was originally transported in a parachute bag.
6. Rosita's current costume, which Hume described as a "theatrical cabaret costume," was created by "Mrs. Robinson, a retired teacher from Bogota, Columbia."
7. Hume performed often while stationed in Panama. A number of U.S. troops were transferred away from Panama, however, leaving the English-speaking Hume with a mostly Spanish-speaking audience. Hume states that a Miss Lizardi of Puerto Rico translated his routine into Spanish for him so that he could continue to perform.
8. After the war, Hume and Rosita performed on the west coast of the United States, but Hume was recalled to duty during the U.S. / Korean conflict (1950-1953), and events that happened during his second tour of duty left Hume unable to perform again. According to the letter Hume included with his 1992 donation, "After returning to the States from Japan, Rosita and I did try the act again a few times. It just did not work. Thirty-nine years ago  Rosita retired to her case."
9. Rosita is on display in Building Two of the museum. She can be prominently seen in Virtual Pan Number One. Once the pan has loaded, "turn" to your right and you will see Rosita in the middle of the display behind the rope. (Rosita is also visible in the back of Virtual Pan Number Two, though less prominently so.)

Do you have additional information about this figure? Do you have a suggestion for a future Figure of the Month? Is there a figure maker whose work you would like to see featured? Let us know by emailing the Vent Haven staff.

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