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Thursday, September 02, 2004

Frog Lady

Thank you, loyal readers, for your patience while I learn how to use my new blog tools. I promise to post more frequently as soon as I figure out what I'm doing. This from Section B of this week's Seven Days, not available on-line:

Scene @ Taping of The Frog Lady Show
Channel 15 Studio, Burlington, Thursday, August 26, 10 a.m.

When the Channel 15 production director opened the studio at ten a.m., she said to Lainey Rappaport, “Hi, you must be the Frog Lady.”

It wasn’t just a lucky guess—after all, the 48-year-old former teacher was dressed entirely in frog-themed clothing. There were frogs on her dress, on her rings, on her necklace, on the long keychain around her neck, on her earrings. A ceramic frog on a pin below her right shoulder waved a little American flag.

Rappaport traces her love for her web-footed friends to a childhood appearance on the television show Captain Kangaroo—Mr. Green Jeans had frogs that day. She’s been ribbeted ever since. She adopted her amphibious sobriquet nine years ago, when she started making library displays and entertaining/educating groups of kids.

A former 1st grade teacher, she now totes her tadpoles to birthday parties and libraries around the state. She hasn’t made much money at it yet, and is hoping the public access show will win her a few frog fans. It airs twice each Saturday for a month, at 7 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. This, the third episode, attracted 14 kids, ages 8 months to 13 years, and some parents. It was supposed to revolve around Rappaport’s leopard frog, but he “didn’t make it.” At least, that’s what she told the kids. She told me he died. “I got bad crickets from the store,” she confided.

Instead, two albinos and one African dwarf squirmed in their plastic tank for the hour-long show. Rappaport read aloud from three books, introduced Olga Gomez, who demonstrated how to make clay frogs, and passed out frog candy and hand puppets. The kids yawned while Rappaport read, but perked up for the candy and toys.

Not everyone in the audience was interested for the same reasons. Alejandro Velez, there to accompany his clay-frog-making wife, is studying at NECI. “I love to cook frog legs,” he quipped.
Man, I love the part where she told you the frog died. Gets me every time. I don't think that'll ever get old!
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