I grew up with Jim Henson. I never met him, but I watched so many episodes of Sesame Street I couldn't possibly count them, and saw every episode of The Muppet Show when I was a bit older. Over the years I read a lot about him, enjoyed the Muppet movies, saw and loved The Dark Crystal and Labyrinth, and so was among the millions who were devastated when he suddenly died in 1990. I introduced my kids to The Muppet Show last year, and was thrilled when they fell as much in love with it as I had.
I read last year about Jim Henson's Fantastic World, a traveling Smithsonian Institution exhibit dedicated not only to Henson's career but also to the imaginative process he took to come up with his innovative ideas and the way he matured those ideas into such amazing results. When it came to the Smithsonian itself in Washington, D.C., I made plans to go with my family. We went this past weekend, and it was, as advertised, fantastic.