flashBACK Friday: What Hat is Linda Bove Wearing Today?

Posted by: Staff Writer on Dec. 27, 2013

Like millions of Americans, you or your child may have learned your ABCs from “Sesame Street.” Do you also remember actress Linda Bove, who added a humorous dose of Deaf Culture to America’s most beloved children’s show?

As Linda the Librarian, she rubbed elbows with Ernie, Bert, Big Bird and other friendly (or Grouch-y) co-stars from 1973 to 2003. She also had a role on Children of the Lesser God, played Fonz’ girlfriend on “Happy Days,” and many other TV roles.

Today, the Linda Buys a Hat episode is a lesson for businesses on becoming deaf-friendly.

Linda walks into a storeand signs that she wants to buy a hat. “Se habla espanol? Sprechen sie Deutsch?” the saleslady asks, not understanding that Linda is deaf. The saleslady starts to yell, thinking that may help, but she begins to learn:

Fat? This is a fat hat?!? (Linda puts on the too-big hat). Big? Big. Now I understand! Narrow? Squished? (Linda puts on the too-small hat) Small! Small hat!"

Now, Bove is busy wearing other “hats” promoting causes. She urged New York Governor Cuomo to reconsider a budget proposal that would leave 4,201 schools (some of them deaf) shorthanded. “I encourage ... I URGE you, Governor Cuomo to think twice,” she signed in a Vlog at the Deaf West Theatre she established with Ed Waterstreet 20 years ago.

“Any Deaf child can become a doctor or a Vice President of a business organization. Education through ASL is the key to all of these possibilities.”

She also is a TedxIslay Speaker; discussing why deaf, not hearing, actors ought to portray deaf characters in the entertainment industry.

Thank you, Linda, for helping the Deaf learn what mighty hats we can wear!

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