Towering Village activist is now also a mini-marionette

BY TEQUILA MINSKY | A few weeks back, legendary Village activist Doris Diether approached marionette manipulator Ricky Syers in Washington Square Park. “I have something for you,” she told him. She then handed him a manila envelope with two August issues of The Villager that published photos of Syers with his Mr. Stix marionette, plus Syers in his “Johnny-on-the-spot” routine, in which he sits in an outhouse with the door open.

Marionette master Ricky Syers recently added a new member to his “family,” Doris Diether, the veteran Village activist.  Photo by Tequila Minsky

Marionette master Ricky Syers recently added a new member to his “family,” Doris Diether, the veteran Village activist.
Photo by Tequila Minsky

The ice was broken between the two and Syers took a shine to the longtime Community Board 2 member. Back in his New Jersey workshop, he created a marionette of her. It took 40 hours over three days, but just $8, to create the Diether mini-me. He molded the figure’s face into a remarkable likeness, and outfitted it with her trademark flowered blouse and cane.

Last week, Syers brought Diether’s marionette to Washington Square, complete with a mini-bench to sit on. Seated next to her was Mr. Stix, a down-and-out drunk who is sweet and loves to dance. Stix seems to like Diether, but she was a little hesitant sitting there with her cane.

Photo by Tequila Minsky Doris Diether shakes hands with her new mini-me, controlled by Ricky Syers.

Photo by Tequila Minsky
Doris Diether shakes hands with her new mini-me, controlled by Ricky Syers.

Syers has made a couple of YouTube videos of Diether (the smaller version), one showing her strolling tranquilly in a garden and sniffing the flowers and petting a (life-size) cat, the other showing her getting freaky and dancing gangnam style. See http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RmnO0VVHUMY and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_7Ts39fnoM4.

With reporting by Sharon Woolums

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6 Responses to Towering Village activist is now also a mini-marionette

  1. When are we going to name something important after this great woman? Please let's not wait until she has passed. She should be at the ribbon cutting ceremony… doing the cutting!

    • 75 Morton Street?
      Wouldn't it be great if the school had a floor dedicated to senior needs and activities,
      so that the same kitchens feeding the students were also feeding the seniors, and
      a non-stop daily senior-student mentoring program was incorporated into the curriculum?
      The Diether School,
      or The Diether Wing.

  2. This is a tender, wonderful tribute to my dear friend and Village icon Doris Diether.

  3. Ricky Syers is a not only has tons of talent but the biggest kindest heart ! He has paid tribute to Doris in a unique manner. Ricky Seyers, you are a GEM – ABC. NBC , Fox , etc. DON’T let this one get away!!

  4. An amazing resemblance… great work and an even greater tribute!

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