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THE PUPPET MASTER

A PUPPET NO MORE by Tony Kemeny (as told to Roy Hayes) 1963

A bizarre example of the "America--she wonderful" immigrant story combined with some good old fashioned anti-Commie stuff. Kemeny was the puppeteer at Knotts Berry Farm. A dead end job, perhaps, but certainly a happy ending for his tale of woe.

It begins with a Hungarian orphan boy, his legs so withered by polio he couldn't run and play with his fellow orphanage inmates. Out of loneliness, he taught himself puppetry (starting with dirty socks!) and adopted his personal creed: "No one should make the children pay to see puppets." After a stint in Dachau, he gets adopted as a mascot by US soldiers. Great fun, but when he has to go back to Hungary, the Russians assume the lame teen is a spy. He spent the next 6 years in the clutches of the secret police developing a negative attitude towards Communism--"You can destroy me. But you Communist butchers can never defeat me"--and picked the wrong side in the '56 revolt.

He preserved to write this book. But we still don't know why he was in Dachau, how the hell he ever got to this country, or how much Knotts charges for the puppet show. Damn!


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