BUSTER BALLOON

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I was lucky enough to attend a wonderful Boxing Day party last night which was teeming with Hollywood celebrities (not to name drop, but my favorite character actors Fred Willard, Paul Dooley, Robert Forrester and Chuck McCann were there, as well as Stan Freberg, Harlan Ellison and Buck Henry, to name but a few). But, as likewise reported by Mark Evanier, the hit of the evening was this guy making balloon figures and objects. Anything anyone could throw at him, he was able to quickly concoct into a more-than-resonable likeness in colored latex. I saw balloon versions of Elvis, Jack Skellington, Goofy and The Little Mermaid. Songwriter Richard Sherman got a Mary Poppins, painter Olivia DeBeradinis obtained a balloon version of Betty Page, actor/movie collector Bob Burns recieved an amazing balloon rendition of George Pal’s Time Machine. Me? I asked for Tex Avery’s Droopy. And ya’know what? I’m happy! (photo of me with my Droopy balloon here)The balloon maker was Buster Balloon, a stout fellow in a zoot suit, looking like he just stepped out of a Columbia two reeler from 1944. Within a few minutes I was transfixed with his activities – and by the end of the evening he had won everyone over with his art. This is one of those things you just have to see in person to appreciate. I really admired his knowledge of cartoon character design which enabled him to create balloon objets d’art in seconds. If you are in a party planning situation and in need of something guaranteed to delight your guests, get Buster.
And invite me.