Chelsea Summer Reading Program features Lighty

Published 10:39 am Tuesday, August 1, 2017

By TONY NIVENS / Community Columnist

“Here, guess what this is,” said Ron Lighty as he blew up a white balloon with a small black tip and began to mark numbers on it.

“This is an Alabama cell phone, unbreakable antenna, and lots of air time,” he said with a smile and a swipe at the black tip. “I learned to do the telephone routine from the same guy who taught Sheri Lewis years ago, Dick Bruno. He is no longer with us, but he spent several hours showing me how to do it.”

Ventriloquist Ron Lighty at the Chelsea Public Library Summer Reading Program. (Contributed)

He punched numbers with a small click from his unmoving mouth and began both sides of a conversion.

Lighty is a creative ventriloquist who uses balloon characters, along with traditional puppets in his routine, and was in town for the Chelsea Public Library Summer Reading Program. He has even authored a book on how to do four different balloon characters “with a ventriloquist or puppeteer in mind.”

“Let me show you,” he said as he blew and twisted several other balloons together. “This is Florence Funnybird.”

Lighty is a hit with the kids and can be reached through email:

“We have several different programs in the Chelsea Public Library’s Summer Reading Program,” said Elisabeth Graham, as she set up a registration table for the Lighty event for Chelsea Library Summer Reading at City Hall, “something for almost everyone.”

Their summer schedule is indeed quite busy.

On Tuesdays, they show movies at the Community Center at 1 p.m. On Wednesdays, they have the Summer Reading Program for Kindergarten through fifth grade at Chelsea City Hall starting at 2 p.m.

“We also have a program for toddlers called the Tot Spot on Wednesday. It is at the library itself and starts at 10:30,” said Graham.

Thursday is the Summer Reading Program for sixth through 12th grade at the Chelsea Community Center. Also, the Filmmaking Classes are on Thursday. Basic is at 9 a.m. and Advanced at 11 a.m.

Even the adults of Chelsea can join in the Summer Reading Challenge and earn an entry in a drawing for a goody bag and grand prize of a Kindle.

“Just this morning we had one of the City Council members reading to 22 toddlers over at the library,” Graham added with an appreciative smile.

Chelsea Public Library Summer Reading Program information can be found at, and for more information on the filmmaking class, email