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
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.