If I were to lead off this blog post telling you that Art Clokey had passed away, you might be wondering, "Yeah, ... um ... Art Who?!" That name is not well known to most of us. If I said that the creator of Gumby, Pokey, Davey and Goliath had passed away, most of you, recognizing those names, would still be hard pressed to pull the name Art Clokey out of thin air.
Well, anyway, Art Clokey, creator of Gumby, Pokey, Davey and Goliath, passed away on January 8, 2010. He and his wife Ruth were pioneers in making stop motion clay animation popular. Clay animated films, now better known as claymation, were produced in the United States as early as 1908, but the work of the Clokeys beginning in about 1955 helped popularize the medium.
I'm by no means an expert on Clokey or claymation, but I do like Gumby and have more recently enjoyed Wallace and Gromit, by Nick Park of Aardman Animations, not by Clokey. You can check out the articles on Wikipedia about Art Clokey and claymation if you'd like to learn more.
So why Semper Gumby!?
Becka and I have taught two summers in China. After the first summer there we learned and adopted the motto Semper Gumby! (= Always flexible!) If you've had a Gumby, you know about Gumby's flexibility. Americans teaching in China must learn to be flexible because anything and everything can change drastically, and at the drop of a hat. Here's our experience with that.
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