When Jim went down to Washington in January 1975 to deliver the first Ernie and Bert puppets to the Smithsonian for display, it was a trip home. Having grown up just outside the city limits in University Park, Maryland, attending high school in Hyattsville and college down the road at the University of Maryland, Jim had many friends in the area. One of his closest from his student days was Joe Irwin. They had taken a cross country road trip together in the mid-‘50s, visiting the Grand Canyon, and when Jim went to Europe in 1958, Irwin travelled with him for the first part of the trip. In 1959, when Jim married Jane Nebel, Irwin served as Jim’s best man. It was only natural then that when Jim came back to Washington, marking twenty years on television by lending his Sesame Street stars to the Smithsonian, he might celebrate at dinner with Irwin who had been there at the beginning.
In June 1965, 28-year-old Jim Henson started a written log of his activities in what became known as “The Red Book.” He noted down what had happened up until that point (deemed “Ancient History”) and then recorded anything that he felt was worth recording as single line journal entries until the end of 1988.
Selected curated entries courtesy of The Jim Henson Company Archives.