Sunday, July 22, 2012

No. 81 J.P. Patches Fremont Statue

On August 17th, 2008 a bronze statue of J.P. and Gertrude was unveiled at the corner of Fremont Avenue North and North 34th Street in the Fremont neighborhood of Seattle. The unveiling date was to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the J.P. Patches show. The statue is called "Late for the Interurban" by sculptor Kevin Pettelle, and is approximately 250 feet east of "Waiting for the Interurban."
J.P. Patches (full name: Julius Pierpont Patches) was a clown portrayed by Seattle entertainer Chris Wedes (1928 – July 22, 2012). The J.P. Patches Show was one of the longer-running locally-produced children's television programs in the United States, having appeared on Seattle TV station KIRO channel 7 from 1958 to 1981.The show was live, unrehearsed improv with rarely more than two live actors on screen (Wedes and Bob Newman) but with frequent contributions from the sound-effects man and off-camera crew.
 The unveiling was attended by hundreds of Patches' Pals, including Washington Governor Christine Gregoire, Congressman Jim McDermott, King County Executive Ron Sims, and several members of the county and city councils; both Chris Wedes (J. P. Patches) and Bob Newman (Gertrude) were present. The event was emceed by Pat Cashman, and the keynote address was given by Wedes' 16-year-old granddaughter, Christine Frost.


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