testimonials


  • I’m 60 now and have a Jaro Hess “The land of make believe” that my grandfather left to me when he passed. I remember being 6 or 7 yr old and going to spend the week end at their house, first time away from my parents over night, scared in a strange house at night. On the wall beside my bed I would lie there and travel around that map for hours at times and seems like every time I would look at it I would find something new I never seen before. His father taught Sunday school in his later years and it was in his office there at the church.When he left he gave it to my grandfather and it stayed there till my grandmother developed alzhimers and he sold the home and everything there to be with her near the hospital. He gave his children and my mother, a few things and some cash. They wanted the land of make believe because they grew up with it but he wanted me to have it and I still do.



    I’m 60 now and have a Jaro Hess “The land of make believe” that my grandfather left to me when he passed. I remember being 6 or 7 yr old and going to spend the week end at their house, first time away from my parents over night, scared in a strange house at night. On the wall beside my bed I would lie there and travel around that map for hours at times and seems like every time I would look at it I would find something new I never seen before. His father taught Sunday school in his later years and it was in his office there at the church.When he left he gave it to my grandfather and it stayed there till my grandmother developed alzhimers and he sold the home and everything there to be with her near the hospital. He gave his children and my mother, a few things and some cash. They wanted the land of make believe because they grew up with it but he wanted me to have it and I still do.


    Bobby Santi

  • The year was 1961, and my husband, Glen, was lucky enough to be chosen to be a student “star” for an entire week, on the local television show, The Romper Room. Televised on WHO TV in Des Moines, Iowa, this show was franchised, so local affiliates could produce and cast their own versions. Miss Nancy was the host in Des Moines and local children, who wanted to appear, were on waiting lists for years.

    The format of the show was like school, which began every day with the Pledge of Allegiance, and continued with lessons, songs, manners, and moral lessons (Do Bee and Don’t Bee). The set actually represented a school room, which included a large picture of a make-believe land with roads and castles and images that fascinated him. At the end of the week, each child received an 8 x 10 glossy photograph to commemorate their visit to the show. My husband always felt lucky, as he was seated below the make-believe “map,” which always intrigued him. The Romper Room Generation The year was 1961, and my husband, Glen, was lucky enough to be chosen to be a student “star” for an entire week, on the local television show, The Romper Room. Televised on WHO TV in Des Moines, Iowa, this show was franchised, so local affiliates could produce and cast their own versions. Miss Nancy was the host in Des Moines and local children, who wanted to appear, were on waiting lists for years. The format of the show was like school, which began every day with the Pledge of Allegiance, and continued with lessons, songs, manners, and moral lessons (Do Bee and Don’t Bee). The set actually represented a school room, which included a large picture of a make-believe land with roads and castles and images that fascinated him. At the end of the week, each child received an 8 x 10 glossy photograph to commemorate their visit to the show. My husband always felt lucky, as he was seated below the make-believe “map,” which always intrigued him. We came upon the black and white glossy Romper Room photo about 20 years ago. My husband recalled many memories of the week, the most significant one however, was the big picture in “Miss Nancy’s” room, of castles, fairy tales, and connecting magical paths, which would keep him mesmerized for long periods of time during his five-days at Romper Room. He actually didn’t remember it as a picture, but rather a story, with a map, which was never-ending. Every time he looked at the photo, he would talk about how he wished he had a copy. He remembered there used to be a poster, but now couldn’t even recall the name of the image, just that he would like to find one some day.



    The year was 1961, and my husband, Glen, was lucky enough to be chosen to be a student “star” for an entire week, on the local television show, The Romper Room. Televised on WHO TV in Des Moines, Iowa, this show was franchised, so local affiliates could produce and cast their own versions. Miss Nancy was the host in Des Moines and local children, who wanted to appear, were on waiting lists for years.

    The format of the show was like school, which began every day with the Pledge of Allegiance, and continued with lessons, songs, manners, and moral lessons (Do Bee and Don’t Bee). The set actually represented a school room, which included a large picture of a make-believe land with roads and castles and images that fascinated him. At the end of the week, each child received an 8 x 10 glossy photograph to commemorate their visit to the show. My husband always felt lucky, as he was seated below the make-believe “map,” which always intrigued him. The Romper Room Generation The year was 1961, and my husband, Glen, was lucky enough to be chosen to be a student “star” for an entire week, on the local television show, The Romper Room. Televised on WHO TV in Des Moines, Iowa, this show was franchised, so local affiliates could produce and cast their own versions. Miss Nancy was the host in Des Moines and local children, who wanted to appear, were on waiting lists for years. The format of the show was like school, which began every day with the Pledge of Allegiance, and continued with lessons, songs, manners, and moral lessons (Do Bee and Don’t Bee). The set actually represented a school room, which included a large picture of a make-believe land with roads and castles and images that fascinated him. At the end of the week, each child received an 8 x 10 glossy photograph to commemorate their visit to the show. My husband always felt lucky, as he was seated below the make-believe “map,” which always intrigued him. We came upon the black and white glossy Romper Room photo about 20 years ago. My husband recalled many memories of the week, the most significant one however, was the big picture in “Miss Nancy’s” room, of castles, fairy tales, and connecting magical paths, which would keep him mesmerized for long periods of time during his five-days at Romper Room. He actually didn’t remember it as a picture, but rather a story, with a map, which was never-ending. Every time he looked at the photo, he would talk about how he wished he had a copy. He remembered there used to be a poster, but now couldn’t even recall the name of the image, just that he would like to find one some day.


    Anonymous
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Artist Jaro Hess

Jaro Hess (1889-1977)
Jaro Hess was perhaps the most original artist of fantasy working in Grand Rapids from the 1930s through the 1960’s. His art was a rarity, created solely out of this imagination.

Hess savored the differences

They were the product of an idiosyncratic and eccentricity, “according to Hess. People come to see the painting, “the artist said, “and they ask how I got such an imagination to do them. I just tell them that I studied mathematics in school and it teaches you to think abstract thoughts. They are different,” Hess savored the differences – the absurdity.