February 15, 2019 – “Disturbing Nassau, Overlooking the Grand Canyon, and Visiting Ottawa”

Hello, everyone!

The Home Movie Collection continues to yield special moments treasured by those who filmed them or by those who lived them. Proms, graduations, weddings, birthday, Christmas celebrations, and family reunions all represent a common thread that others can identify with, no matter the era. Family vacations open the doors for others to catch a glimpse of sites that may or may not exist. Some of which probably should never come back. Case in point, troubling practices seen conducted by animal trainers in the Bahamas in the 1970s.

In the latest batch of donates home movies, a family visited Nassau in 1974. They enjoyed the resort they reserved, the beautiful beaches, the gorgeous vegetation seen in the distance, and the aquarium that held featured seal and dolphin shows. Yet something disturbing peeked beneath the colorful presentations.

Some disturbing footage involved two in a boat with one man holding a sea turtle by its shell; the poor thing flapped its flippers as if it tried to escape. This man did not stop there as he dragged a larger sea turtle by its flippers, lifted its torso up, and used his hand to pull the turtle’s head back so people could see the turtle open its mouth! I felt sick watching this happen! Poor turtles, they did not deserve such treatment.

I let Mr. Ogreten and Mr. Benjamin see the footage and the disgust the felt could be seen on their faces. Mr. Benjamin commented that such a thing commonly happened and only in the recent few decades did reforms cease such practices. True, I do not remember sea turtles subjected in such a manner in all the places I visited as a child.  Thankfully, the trainers now treat these creatures with respect.

Fortunately, other vacation spots did not feature anymore controversial content. Family rode a plane to over look the Grand Canyon. At first, I did not recognize it until the canyon’s iconic ridges came into view. The family also visited Las Vegas, the Hoover Dam, and  the National Zoo in Washington, D. C. (with giraffes, elephants, flamingos, different kinds of bears, and tigers). While I am sure I am forgetting a few other places the family visited, I know they visited Ottawa, the capital city of Canada.

Since the family visited the capital city, among the sites depicted include Parliament Hall. However, the family spent most of the footage capturing the magnificent architecture of the Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica. Built in 1846, the basilica remains the oldest and largest church in Ottawa and the city’s Roman Catholic archbishop holds service there. Of course, the family could not resist taking photos with a member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (the “Mounties”). Eventually, the family returned to the United States via ferry.

When I finished watching a thirty-four minute long video file, I looked at the time and realized I could not watch another (too long). So, I packed the hard drive and returned all related materials to the stacks. I wished everyone farewell and left for the weekend.

In review, I discovered footage of a man in Nassau possibly mishandling and mistreating sea turtles. Luckily, the rest of the reviewed today did not contain anymore controversial materials. Next week, I continue to review this family’s donated film files. Until then, enjoy the weekend 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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