Mr. Bingle Puppet


My name is Lisa Rizzuto Thorsen, and the object shown is a Mr. Bingle puppet bought from the Maison Blanche department store in the 1960s. Although worn by the effects of time, this puppet has not lost its charm. His ice cream cone hat still sits proudly atop his head, his silver eyes still shine, and his cherry red nose has not faded. To me, the Mr. Bingle puppet that my mother bought for me as a child holds warm Christmas memories. I remember the window show at Maison Blanche on Canal Street, how all the children would clamor to see Mr. Bingle (as opposed to Santa Claus at D.H. Holmes), and how I would sleep with my beloved puppet. I fondly recall my mother's love for the winter season, a love that my mother inherited from her von Behren ancestors who came to New Orleans by way of Prussia in the 1880s. Although my Prussian ancestors would not have known about Mr. Bingle, the beloved Christmas character represents the joviality that they had during this time of year. I will always continue my family's love for Christmas and for Mr. Bingle by making Mr. Bingle a part of my children's Christmas season. To me, it is important that they know about Mr. Bingle because he is a reminder of a "simpler time." 

Place(s): New Orleans, Louisiana

– Daniel Senentz, Jr.

Relationship:  Great-grandchild of im/migrant or more Great-grandchild of im/migrant or more