Towering Village activist is now also a mini-marionette | East Villager & Lower East Sider

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