March 1, 2019 – “A Plethora of Vacation Destinations and Sites”

Hello, everyone!

In recent days, I became concerned about the lack of vacation destinations and sites in the Home Movie Collection. Fortunately, the drought of such seemed to disappear as a plethora of claimed a majority of the footage reviewed: Silver Dollar City in  Branson, Missouri; Palmyra, Pennsylvania; Wayfarer’s Chapel in Ranchos Palos Verde, California; Wairakei Village, New Zealand; Ngamokaiakoko Boiling Mud Pool (Frog Pool) in Whakarewarewa Thermal Valley, Te Puia, Rotorura, New Zealand; Hobo Joe in Buckeye, Arizona; Phoenix, Arizona; Lake Storey, Galesburg, Illinois; and Miami Beach. This busy family certainly kept themselves occupied. Before I delved into the smorgasbord of relaxation, I needed to perform my new Friday duties.

As I entered the library, I noticed Mr. Ogreten gathering exhibit materials from a display case. The case held archival materials related to and books written by author Zora Neale Hurston. Apparently, the loan period ended and Mr. Ogreten came to collect all of the archival materials. I did not think much of it until I realized some of those books belonged in the stacks, which meant I eventually needed to return them to their appropriate shelf space. So, I helped Mr. Ogreten organize the materials and collected the books to add to any books already waiting for me at the cart.

Finding the right locations for the books did not take much book difficulty, especially since the Hurston books generally occupied the same shelf. As I returned the books, I collected the orange “On Loan” forms and removed the slips inside. Afterward, I placed the slips on Mr. Ogreten’s desk. With my Friday tasks completed, I gathered all of the Home Movie Collection materials and resumed my progress.

The family I am examining filmed their experiences during the late 1960s or early 1970s. Among the places they visited includes Silver Dollar City in Branson, Missouri. Aesthetically based on Ozark mining towns, the theme park continues to thrive in the present. The park featured resident craftsman, a log flume ride called “Lucky’s Silver Mine,” a train ride, and more. This park represented the tip of the iceberg.

The next destination visited by the family turned out to be the curious Wayfarer’s Chapel in Ranchos Palos Verde, California. A memorial to the founder of the Swedenborgian Church of North America, Emmanuel Swedenborg, Lloyd Wright designed the chapel to incorporate geometric symbols and shapes into the natural landscape. An impressive sight that certainly deserves a look, it remains a unique spectacle.

Just as I thought I finished watch more clips from New Zealand, this batch of footage surprised me. First, the family visited Wairakei Village. The small settlement features red Maori tribal statues that represent the culture of the area. Once again, the videographer filmed a boiling substance. The Ngamokaiakoko Boiling Mud Pool (as known as the Frog Pool) in Whakarewarewa Thermal Valley, Te Puia, Rotorura, New Zealand features a source of geothermal energy in the region and the thickness of the mud depends on the season of the year.

Returning to the United States, the next sites resided in Arizona. The mascot of the eponymous Hobo Joe’s restaurant chain stood in Buckeye, Arizona long after the chain went defunct. In 2016, The Buckeye Main Street Coalition purchased Hobo Joe and hoped to raise funds to repair him. They intended to set him in historic downtown Buckeye at his new home (feel free to donate to their cause). The other location in question turned out to be downtown Phoenix, Arizona during Christmas Day and the decorations made the city look alive!

The final vacation spot happened to be a familiar sight. The family visited Miami Beach as well as spent time at the docks. The children seemed to have fun whenever they played in a body of water (the pet cat, not so much). They even visited Parrot Jungle, another familiar sight, and filmed the parrot show. I did not realize how popular the park was until reviewing these home movies. Perhaps I might visit it some day.

Eventually, my shift ended. I saved my work, packed the hard drive, and returned all of the materials to the stacks. Afterward, I bid the staff farewell and left the office.

In review, I watched a family visit a lot of places and sites. Next week brings new footage to examine. 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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