February 4, 2019 – “A Special Find”

Hello, everyone!

With the beginning of a new week, I often wonder if I am on the slow road of burning out as I continue reviewing the Home Movies Collection. Luckily, I come across spectacular footage of first-hand experiences to notable events that remedy these thoughts. For example, I discovered that Barron Richter’s family visited Walt Disney World on its opening day! Such a special find is the kind of material worth preserving and is one of the interests the Special Collections side of the UCF Archives looks for. However, not all of the day’s activities proved as enjoyable.

As I entered the office, I picked up the cleaning supplies to do my weekly duty. Sometimes the desks do not as much cleaning and I can finish in relative time and fashion. Unfortunately, today was not one of those times. Seemingly every other desk needed a thorough wipe down! When I finished, I thought about just how could so many desks get to such a disgusting state.

After returning the cleaning supplies, I retrieved the Home Movie Collection hard drive and continued from where I left off from last week. At first, I examined the video files and notes to find out there were discrepancies. Some of the files did not have entries of the Word document and some entries of the Word document did not align with the correlating records. This setback delays the time of completion for this whole collection, the thought of which annoyed me.

Rather than sulk on this turn of events, I decided to take these matters head on and continue reviewing footage while trying to untangle the mess my predecessors made. The first batch of footage featured the intrepid band of Barron Richter and his friends as they embarked on a journey to Chicago, watched a Highland High School vs. Hobart football game, played ping pong, and witnessed an eclipse. While these interesting clips brought a nice slice of life feel, the footage I reviewed next I found a better connection with.

Mr. Richter and his family counted among the privileged few that experienced the opening day of Walt Disney World Magic Kingdom on October 1, 1971. With their camera, the family took panoramic shots of Mainstreet USA. Interestingly, they somehow managed to go to the Jetport to witness actress Julie Andrews emerge from her Delta Airline plane. Barron Richter even stood next to Andrews for a shot.

That same day, Julie Andrews did a routine that would appear in the ninty-minute TV special about the opening day that would soon air. Mr. Richter’s footage can almost be seen as a “behind the scenes” look at the TV special’s production. Another event captured on film by the Richters involved the luau held on the first night as seen in the TV special.

The Richters had footage of them visiting the park through a period of five years from October 1, 1971 to July 4, 1976. Unfortunately, the end of my shift cut short any further examinations. I saved my work, packed up the hard drive, and returned all the materials to the stacks. Afterward, I bid farewell to the staff and left for the day.

In review, I completed my weekly cleaning duties, started to correct my predessors’ mistakes, and reviewed two sets of footage. Tomorrow, I continue watching the Richters’ footage of the first years of Walt Disney World. Until then, enjoy the evening and stay safe! Bye!

Author: 57r3l574d

I am currently a Graduate Student at the University of Central Florida and simultaneously employed by the university library's Special Collections and University Archives as a Other Personnel Service (OPS) Student. Expected to graduate in 2019 with a History MA - Public History Track.

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