2001, A Keaton Odyssey Keaton illustration All Keaton, All the time Announcing
Ninth Annual Keaton Celebration
Sept. 28 and 29, 2001
Bowlus Fine Arts Center
Iola, Kansas
205 E. Madison       620-365-4765       program is free   

The 2001 Celebration was preceded on Wed., Sept. 26 and Th urs., Sept. 27
by an academic conference on Film Comedy.

Iola, Kansas
is approximately 100 miles south of Kansas City, 110 miles from Wichita, and 120 miles from Tulsa.

2001 Keaton Celebration:


blankMelissa Talmadge Cox, Buster's granddaughterJoe Adamson, Patty Eliot TobiasJohn Bengtson, author of "Silent Echoes"
Dan Lybarger and Joanna Rapf
Sarah, Becky and Bill Shaffer, Martha Jett, Frank Scheide
Dan Kamin, performance artist, filled in for a scheduled presenter
Kan Kamin, performance artist Tom Leitch and Dan Kamin
Frank Scheide, co-chair of Keaton Celebration CommitteeBill Shaffer wears his new hat!
Above: the illusive Frank Scheide (left) and Bill Shaffer (right)

Excellent presentations were a part of this year's celebration. At left, a few of the presenters and members of the Keaton Celebration Committee, organizers and producers this year's activities.

Clockwise around Dan (center) from lower left are: Sarah, Becky and Bill Shaffer, Martha Jett, and Frank Scheide; Dan Lybarger and presenter Joanna Rapf; Keaton's granddaughter, Melissa Talmadge Cox with pork-pie hat given her by Buster, Patty Eliot Tobias, cofounder of The Damfinos and her husband, Joe Adamson; presenterJohn Bengtson; Tom Leitch and Dan Kamin, both of whom presented at the pre-celebration.

Buster Award 2001--

The "Buster Award" was presented to actor and friend, James Karen.
John Kelso and James Karen

Actor James Karen  "becomes" Keaton

Steve Friedman, public relations photographer/Keaton fan, and JimJames Karen, longtime friend of Buster and Eleanor, received the 2001 "Buster." A TV and movie actor, Jim attended with his wife, Alba. Read text of award.

Buster's cousins, Ted Keaton and Jean Keaton Holler, with Jim and Carol YohoJames put on a porkpie hat and "became" Buster.
The spooky resemblance was, no doubt, due to his acting skills and firsthand observations of Buster!

Accompaniment by Mont Alto--

Brooke Palmer, brass
Brian Collins, clarinetRodney Sauer, piano

A marvelous addition of the festivities for the past several years has been orchestral accompaniment to shows of silent films by the Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra, a quintet of some of the finest musicians in the Midwest. They come to Iola from Louisville, CO.

blankSusan Hall, violinKevin Johnson, cello
Members, from top left are:
Brooke Palmer (brass), Brian Collins (clarinet), Rodney Sauer (piano), Susan Hall (violin) and Kevin Johnson (cello).

The Bowlus Fine Arts Center is a perfect facility to host the Keaton Celebration.

Bill Nix oversees presentation of media projection (tape, video disk and 16mm film) as needed. Mary Martin, co-chair of the Keaton Committee, also directs operations at the Bowlus. Beautiful yearly posters are by John Tibbetts, University of Kansas. Lobby cards are by Bill Shaffer, public TV producer/director at KTWU, Channel 11. A display of historic postcards were provided by Buster's family in Indiana. Buster's cousins, Ted Keaton and Jean Keaton Holler regularly attend the celebration. For the second year, a Buster Keaton quilt was raffled by Jane Bartholomew to raise money for next year's celebration. The prize quilt was designed and stitched by Kathy Metzenbauer of Wisconsin Dells, WI. David Macloed, founder of the British Keaton fan club, Blinking Buzzards, came again this year from London to Iola..

Historic post cards displayed
Lobby card, Sat. evening showings, by Bill ShafferLobby card, Fri. evening  showing, by Bill ShafferBill Shaffer and his lobby card
author panel: Tibbetts, Bingtson, Macloed, Rapf

Keaton quilt raffled, made by Kathy Metzenbauer, shown here with her mom, Genevieve ScheideLuncheon for presenters provided by Iota Nu chapter of Phi Tau Omega sororityBasement sales, Bowlus Fine Arts Center
Nerve center of celebration presentation media
Lobby, Bowlus Fine Arts Center

This program was free. No advance registration was required.

FRI., Sept. 28, 2001
Beginning 10:00 a.m.


John Bengtson:
Silent Echoes presentation with short film
Joanna Rapf:
"Keaton's Comedy:The Laugh Laughing at the Laugh."
Lunch (on your own)
Patricia Eliot Tobias:
"Nightmares, Dreams and Death in the Comedies of Buster Keaton"

John Tibbetts:
"Splendidly Self Propelled: Buster, The Self-Made Man"
Film: Buster Keaton Rides Again (60 min.)
SAT., Sept. 29, 2001
Beginning 8:30 a.m. 

(there are no fees)

Welcome & Remarks
Fred Krebs:
"The Kansas Heritage of Buster Keaton"

David Macleod:
"Buster's 1951 Music Hall Tour of England"
Gerald Potterton on video (Illness prevented Potterton to appear in person): "Koast to Koast with Keaton"
Short film: The Railrodder, directed by Gerald Potterton, introduced by Bill Shaffer
Lunch (on your own)

Presentation of the Buster Award
James Karen:
"Thoughts on Film with Keaton and Beckett"
Short film: Samuel Beckett's Film (20 min.)

Melissa Talmadge Cox: "A Personal Keaton Legacy"
(Keaton's granddaughter shares insights, including family photos)

Dan Kamin (kindly filling in for Jeffrey Vance, absent because of illness):
"Funny Bones:The Comic Body Language of Chaplin and Keaton"

Author's Panel: "Writing About Keaton in the New Century"
Moderator: John Tibbetts

Evening Movies

FRIDAY, 7:30 p.m.:

and Hard Luck,

music by Rodney Sauer


Spite Marriage
(Buster's last silent film), music by Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra

SATURDAY, 7:30 p.m.:

The Love Nest
The Boat,
music by Rodney Sauer


The Navigator
, music by
Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra

  • Music provided by the Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra
  • Variety of Keaton scholars and authors
  • Displays, books, souvenirs, autographs, surprises and new friends

Speakers List:

  • John Bengston
  • Patricia Tobias
  • John Tibbetts
  • Frederick Krebs
  • David Macleod
  • James Karen (Buster winner)
  • MelissaTalmadge Cox
  • Joanna Rapf
  • Dan Kamin
Funded by the Kansas Humanities Council, with help from the Iola Tourism Fund and private donors.
Sponsored by the Keaton Celebration Committee in cooperation with the Bowlus Fine Arts Center.

See 2002 celebration: "Tenth Anniversary Celebration"
See 2000 celebration: "Keaton and Laurel & Hardy"
See 1999 celebration: "Keaton and Lloyd"
See 1998 celebration: "Keaton and Pickford
See 1997 celebration:"Keaton and Chaplin"
See 1996 celebration: "Keaton and Arbuckle"
Speakers Lists 1993-95
© 2001 by Carol Yoho
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