I purchased Tiny Tim’s first album, “God Bless Tiny Tim” from my friend Drew yesterday at a big record show, and I’m pretty blissed out about it. Another record seller, my buddy Bill, saw the album and told me that he knows the guy who bought Tiny Tim and Miss Sue’s house near Minnehaha Creek on 50-somethingth Street in South Minneapolis. Nice house, but Tim had all the woodwork taken off and installed metal trim instead. T’Tim was an absolute germaphobe, and metal can be sterilized. I love stories like that! I think our friend should go behind the walls of the house to see if there are any treasures to be found within.
I remember my Mom, Dad, Nana & Pop-pop Kennedy just freaking out the first time we saw Tiny Tim perform. “OH THIS GUY IS COMPLETELY OUT OF HIS MIND! PULL HIM OFF THE STAGE! THIS IS A TRAVESTY! AND LOOK AT HIS HAIR!!!” Pop-pop screamed at the t.v., and had a few other choice words which we kids weren’t supposed to hear. “BOB, the kids!!!” Nana bitched at him. Pop-pop seriously looked like he was going to have a stroke, and I think he left the room to go have a scotch and soda.
Us kids were pretty unaffected by pop-pop’s rage (due to conditioning), and thought T’Tim was funny and cool. I wondered how a guy that big could get his voice to go that high. I also sort of remember thinking that he was some kind of giant because I thought he was playing a regular guitar – hey, I was like nine or ten – I hadn’t seen a ukulele before.
So Tiny Tim died and was buried here in Minneapolis, and people can visit his gravesite – I think I will make the pilgrimage (it’s 4-5 blocks from my house) this spring, when the tulips are in bloom. It’s actually a tourist attraction on Roadside America.com:
Minneapolis, Minnesota: Tiny Tim’s Tomb
Herbert Buckingham Khaury, the ukulele playing, falsetto-voiced entertainer known as Tiny Tim, rests eternally, and reportedly with a ukulele in his hand.