Readers React

Bob Baker, L.A.'s memory maker

To the editor: In a town that is known for pulling strings, there was always Bob Baker, the real string puller. ("Bob Baker dies at 90; puppeteer ran beloved theater, worked with movies," Nov. 28)

For baby boomers who grew up in Los Angeles, it isn't always easy to recollect the familiar places of our childhood. This ever-changing city has become unrecognizable in many ways. For example, a huge, imposing Beverly Center stands where Beverly Park once did, with its rides and those fun ponies that ran around a track with ducks quacking in the middle.

Of course, there's the Bob Baker Marionette Theater just outside downtown L.A.

The Times' obituary notes that Baker "has no immediate survivors." Not exactly: He had 4,000 friends in those puppets and countless children who he enchanted and entertained for more than 50 years.

That was his family and his legacy to a city that has little regard for its very rich and wonderful history.

Frances Terrell Lippman, Sherman Oaks

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To the editor: My family and I had tickets to Saturday's performance of "The Nutcracker" at the Bob Baker Marionette Theater. Before the show we stopped for lunch.

Much to my amazement, I noticed whole families who were solidly attached to one electronic device or another while sitting at their tables. There was no interaction or conversation. This experience made our visit to the Bob Baker theater doubly enjoyable.

Not only did the show bring us back to a different time, but there was also much anticipation and excitement in the sold-out house. It was wonderful to see parents and grandparents chatting with their children and the look on their faces when the marionettes came almost close enough to touch.

This is a wonderful place to have in a time of all things digital and automated. My family and I are grateful to Baker for his creations. What a wonderful legacy.

Brigitte Rose, Reseda

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