Kermit•The Oxford American

Consider the case of Kermit Scott, who made perhaps his greatest contribution to the world when her was a schoolboy and didn’t even know about it until years later, after he’d become a man of the world and his own children had reaped the benefits of his influence.

When Dr. Scott was twelve, his best friend was James Henson. The two boys found as much adventure in Leland, Mississippi as boys could in the late 1940s, before James and his family moved away. But Dr. Scott’s impression on his young comrade was greater than anyone could have expected. For when Mr. Henson was in his twenties—people knew him as Jim by then—he created a puppet that looked like a frog and christenend it “Kermit” after his childhood friend, Dr. Scott.

Much of the time they spent together was spent on Deer Creek, which ran between the Scotts’ house, in Leland, and the Hensons’, in tiny Stoneville. “We spent a lot of time out on the creek, hunting for frogs, among other things,” says Dr. Scott. Hunting for frogs? “We did some gigging for frog legs, but most of our stuff was just down in collecting bits and pieces of whatever we could find along the creek, I think, and fantasizing about where we were and what we were doing and so forth.”

Dr. Scott’s childhood association with Mr. Henson, once others find out about it, causes some odd problems. “My wife is always eager to have everyone understand that Miss Piggy was not modeled after her,” he says.

 

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