April 8, 2019 – “Tamiami Colts and Donkey Basketball”

Hello, everyone!

In the course of watching the plethora of films stored in the Home Movie Collection at the University of Central Florida Library’s Special Collections and University Archives, I gained of subjects that I did not have any particular interest in. Past theme parks, cars, a variety of landmarks, and even historical events (TV coverage of the moon landing in 1969, for example). In addition to another trip to Disney World in the midst of birthday parties and Christmas celebrations, I learned about the Tamiami Colts (along with the Greater Miami Pop Warner League itself) and the existence of donkey basketball. The old adage comes to mind for this instance: expect the unexpected.

Like the majority of Mondays since this year started, I collected the cleaning supplies necessary to accomplish my responsibility for the fifth-floor study hall. The experience appalled me as it seemed every other desk needed to be cleaned. Eraser shavings, pencil or pen markings, coffee stains, and even a leaking cup of fruit punch (I am glad I caught this before it stained the carpet)! The process took an hour and I felt thankful once I finished. After returning the supplies, I peered into the stack and saw that the shelving cart yielded no books for me.

With all my responsibilities taken care of, I turned my attention towards the Home Movie Collection. Once I prepared the hard drive, I resumed watching more birthday parties and Christmas celebrations from the 1980s (with some 1970s footage sprinkled in, here and there). In the midst of these scenes of family gatherings, a few notable exceptions stood out. While many families in the collection visited Disney, this particular one vacationed at Fort Wilderness and even parked their RV there.

Once settled, they took the monorail system into the park. Familiar rides made an appearance like the Jungle Cruise and the Dumbo Ride. Differentiating from other family home videos, the family also filmed the Patriot Parade and a character show showing Disney characters like Mickey Mouse, Goofy, and even Winnie the Pooh.

Other notable moments captured on film include a Tamiami Colts football game. At first glance I thought the team belonged to a college or high school. Upon further, I surprisingly found out the team belonged to Greater Miami Pop Warner League, an association comprised of eight parks and youth organizations in the Miami-Dade area. In all honesty, I did not know this even existed and that the Colts formed in 1969.

Likewise, I discovered something at the end of my shift that surprised, baffled, and disturbed me. The last footage I reviewed to not contain any labels or indicators of the footage’s contents, so I did know what expect from it. I needed to do a double-take as I feasted my eyes on an activity that existed since the 1930s known as donkey basketball. Usually a fundraiser event, the concept seems not very complex to understand: two teams playing basketball while riding on donkeys.

When I saved my work, packed the hard drive, and returned all related materials to the stack, I still kept thinking over the existence of donkey basketball. In any case, I bid farewell to the staff and left for the day. I am not sure if I left wiser than myself as I began today, though.

In review, I watched more footage from the Home Movie Collection and learned the existence of the Greater Miami Pop Warner League and donkey basketball. Tomorrow, I finish this particular set of films and move onto the next set. Until then, enjoy the rest of 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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