Legend Of Steampunk Willie"
before that "Other Mouse"
made his debut Steampunk Willie was entertaining crowds on steamboats up and down
the Mississippi River.
This old steam powered robot mouse was something to
see. His brass and nickel plate gleamed in the sun. His finely tuned baritone
whistle could play all the favorites like, "The Rose of Alabama", "Billy
Boy", "Don't Be Foolish Joe", "Oh! Susanna", "Wait
for the Wagon", "Dixie", " Root, Hog, or Die", and other
important tunes of the day. People came from miles and gave standing ovations
folks say that the"Other Mouse" studied Steampunk Willie's style and
adapted it for his own.
When movies made their debut Willie naturally assumed
that he would be a big hit just as he had on the riverboats. Willies big booming
voice and flashy exterior just didn't work for the cartoons. He lost out to a
cheap imitation of himself with a falsetto voice. The "Other Mouse"
had the secret weapon....CUTE ! 'Ya just can't compete with CUTE!
took it hard. He started hitting the bottle. Then he started skipping oil changes
and never seemed to have the money for a good polish and buff job. Fans drifted
away from the riverboats and traveled by train. They started going to movies and
a thing called "Vaudeville". Willie tried Vaudeville but never caught
on with the fans. Seltzer bottles, pratt falls and slapsticks just didn't seem
dignified to Willie.
He stopped performing altogether and ended up on Skid
Row. His once magnificent voice was ruined by cigars and cheap booze. He became
a bitter old tarnished shadow of his former self.
He always harbored a deep
hatred and resentment for the "Other Mouse".
Some stories have
Willie joining the circus where he cleaned up after the elephants and filled in
occasionally for the calliope. Others say he sailed on a tramp steamer where he
had a job as the whistle. No one knows for sure what happened during those lost
Some folks say that Ed Roth heard about Willie and searched him out
where he was drinking at a little dive in Long Beach California in about 1960.
Roth was so moved by his story that he used Willie for the model for his anti
"Other Mouse", "The Rat Fink."
That part of the story is
pure conjecture and I guess we will never know for sure. Roth is dead and so is
Willie. Willie was discovered in an alley shortly after his alleged meeting with
Roth. The crime scene showed signs of a terrific struggle. White duck feathers
were found clenched in Willies hands. That "Duck With the Anger Management
Issues" was a suspect. This was before DNA so his involvement was never proven.
This jug came out great.
was all hand-thrown and sculpted. Then he was glazed with a metallic, grungy,
bronze/black lava glaze that came out especially nice.It came out with an overall
gold metallic irridesence that I have never seen before.There are lots of metallic
flashed areas. He was high-fired. Then he was refired with metallic lusters to
accentuate the old space look. The inside is glazed with a lead-free, food safe
glaze. The stopper is an old glass fuse.