Fred Penner (provided by Fred Penner)
Tomorrow is the annual Teddy Bear's Picnic and SCENE was curious to know if some of the featured entertainers had teddies of their own. SCENE asked Fred Penner and LuLu of LuLu and the TomCat about their plushie past. Fred Penner was the first to write back.
Not quite a teddy bear, but a cute photo of a younger me and my favourite toy. The clown had an umbrella that could spin, as I recall. I have no story to go with the picture, but you know what they say..."It speaks a thousand words." I did have a more cuddly character in my younger days, it was a stuffed doll about 12 inches long, she was burgundy in colour, with round padded hands and feet and a painted face with beautiful blue eyes. I named her Blue Eyes...it just seemed to make sense.
Our eldest daughter Hayley now has Blue Eyes in her possession. Recently I was in Toronto helping Hayley pack up her stuff for a move and I once again held Blue Eyes and saw to it that she was safely packed away until the next visit. I must admit there was a moment of flashback when I saw her. At least I know that she will be taken care of and passed on through the next generations.
- Fred Penner
LuLu and her teddy bear Toupie
Lulu (Tom Neufeld)
I got my teddybear, Toupie, when I lived in Montreal as a child. He used to come everywhere with me. He was my best friend. We would sing songs together and dance. He liked to spin and dance around. That is why I called him Toupie, which means "Spinner" in English.
Then my parents told me we were moving to Baton Rouge for a year and we would have to drive there. We could only take suitcases and what we could fit in the car for the long trip. Of course Toupie had to come. He loved riding in the car. Our car was packed with my brother's fish tank (complete with fish), my stuffies (I had quite a collection) and two sisters' baby things, books and toys. There was just enough room for Toupie. On the trip there we stopped at a hotel and I played with Toupie on the grass.
My parents called me to hop in the car to continue our journey and somehow I left poor Toupie on the grass at the hotel! I fell asleep in the car and hours later I realized that Toupie was gone. I was crying as we looked everywhere in the car until we realized I must've left him at the hotel. It was quite late, but my dad called the hotel and they said they would look around for Toupie. I worried about him for the rest of the trip, but about a week after we got to Baton Rouge he came to me in the mail. The gardener at the hotel had found him and mailed him to me. He was a bit wet and dirty from sleeping on the lawn, but my dad washed him and Toupie and I had a big "Welcome Home" party. I never lost him again.