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March 24, 1983


PIX #1 - Jim Hyte with the model of E.T. he made for his wife.

How would you like to answer your doorbell, open the door and see E.T. stand- ing there?

If you knew nothing about E.T. and his part in the popular movie, you would probably be so scared you'd scream, slam the door and retreat.

On the other hand, if you have seen the movie, even seven times like former Fostorian Carolyn Hyte, now living in Glendale, Aria., perhaps you'd shout with joy.

I received a letter and newspaper clipping from Carolyn. Her letter told how her son Jim said someone at the front door wanted to use the telephone on Halloween night. When she opened it, a full-scale model of E.T. with big bulging eyes, glowing finger and webbed feet, greeted her.

On that evening, Carolyn was introduced to her home-made Christmas present. After seeing the movie, she had fallen in love with the little guy and had asked Jim to get one of the commercial dolls for her holiday gift.

Had Jim purchased one of the dolls for his mother, he would have gotten off a lot cheaper than making one. The materials cost him $200 plus three weeks of his time. But making it was what Jim liked best, since some of his work per- tains to designing and making scenery for Ice Capades.

Carolyn said, "Just before Halloween, Jim started buying all kinds of mater- ial, telling me he was making something for the kids for Halloween. I had to promise not to look at the project. I began to wonder if it was going to be some kind of a monster to freak the kids out. But, I kept my promise and didn't peak.

"On Halloween night, we had a party for some of the skating families he teaches, and it was then that I was introduced to my beloved E.T. I couldn't believe my eyes and promptly dissolved in tears."

Since the introduction of E.T., Carolyn has shared him with many people.

"On weekends he stands in the lobby of one of the theaters for the children to enjoy and he has received many hugs and kisses from the little ones. I was a little apprehensive leaving him for a weekend, but I'm happy to say he has suffered little damage.

"He has appeared at one of the schools where 'PM Magazine' filmed him while the children sang "Heart Light," a song written for E.T. He was also in a Christmas show at the ice arena with Jim fitting him with casters which worked fine on the ice while five little girls skated with him."

For those who haven't read the press notes or seen the movie, "E.T., The Extra Terrestrial" is the most beautiful love story every written about a little boy who befriends a little alien creature from space who was left here on earth by a departing spaceship.

The Arizona Republic newspaper article, which showed Jim's creation, explained that the original mechanical E.T. in the movie cost $1.5 million. Jim's cost $200 plus his time. Jim's was made of wood, plastics, styrofoam and foam rub- ber with rubberized paper mache skin. For the eyes, Jim painted small rubber balls.

Jim didn't just magically drop into the work he is doing now. He improved his natural abilities through study and practice.

When the Hytes lived in Fostoria, Jim's artistic talents were first noticed by his sixth grade teacher. His school fair poster took first prize. In the seventh grade, he made a scale model of King Tut's tomb which won four super- ior ratings at a show at Bowling Green State University.

His high school art teacher recognized his talents and did not require him to conform to regular classroom assignments since he had a style of his own. He majored in art at Bowling Green State University. It was there that he took up ice skating through physical education classes.

Last May, Jim directed, wrote the script, cut the musical score, painted scenery and did much of the choregraphy for an Ice Capades Chalet presentation of "Hooray for Hollywood." He has also produced seven children's ice shows.

Hyte is an animal lover and has a special interest in wolves, owing two hy- brids which are penned in his backyard. He also has a pet boa constrictor which lives in a terrarium in the family room.

When the Hytes moved to Arizona in 1975, they became acquainted with Amanda Blake, better known as "Kittie" of Gunsmoke. In fact, Jim gave her skating lessons, and they have been friends ever since.



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