April 16, 2019 – “Tarzan and Heinz Ketchup”

Hello, everyone!

Among obvious observations that always proves and reinforces themselves include how people attach themselves to ideas that attract them. Fandoms are among those ideas. In the Home Movie Collection, I observed a fan achieve the penultimate recognition that few actually accomplish. As noted in previous entries, the current collection I reviewed involved the donor starring in a Tarzan fan made film. What happen an actor widely recognized as Tarzan acknowledges you and personally visits you? Such great memories that transcend time and genre truly capture an experience few understand.

The donor of the Tarzan home videos with his friends and perhaps classmates told of their dedication as they made Tarzan films in the span of at least two years. Of course, the donor filmed other aspects of his his life as well. Today, I saw him at his high school creating mischief in the hallways and fairways (Brownsville Station’s “Smoking in the Boys Room” certainly applied here). He also recorded his family visiting a beach and footage of a little girl interacting with the family dog from either him, a relative, or a friend. I felt sorry for the dog as the girl dragged the dog across the floor by the collar.

Nonetheless, he managed to somehow to attract the attention of Johnny Weissmuller, the Olympic gold medalist swimmer and actor who played Tarzan in the 1930s and 1940s.The footage featured a small clip of Weissmuller visiting the donor’s school and meeting him personally in 1968. This made sense as Weissmuller moved to Fort Lauderdale in 1965. A year later, he helped create the International Swimming Hall of Fame. Regardless, a fan managed to meet the man who portrayed a favorite character of his.

This special interaction marked the end of this donor’s films and I soon moved on to the next batch. Almost immediately I caught glimpse of a very peculiar toy. Finding a scooter among the toys of a baby or toddler does not seem unusual. The fact the scooter not only looks like a Heinz Ketchup bottle, it also carries the Heinz Ketchup branding caught me by surprise.  Amused by my finding, I shared it with some of my colleague and Mr. Ogreten, who found the scooter amusing as well.

I later found out that the Worcester Toy Company produced toy ride on and did it as a promotion for the H.J. Heinz Company in the 1960s (now part of The Kraft Heinz Company). Very fascinating that of all the brands to choose from, Worcester Toy Company chose the Heinz company. A strange choice indeed.

During the course of the day, Joe Kaminski informed us that a middle school hired him and he will be leaving after he graduates. As a celebration of this exciting news, he bought the staff doughnuts. Naturally, I did not refuse his offer and enjoyed myself with some tasty doughnuts.

Eventually, my shift came to an end. I saved my work, packed the hard drive, returned all related materials to the stacks. Afterward, I bid farewell to the staff and left for the day.

In review, I watched a fan meet a star, a little girl ride a ketchup bottle, and ate some doughnuts. Tomorrow, I resume my progress. Until then, enjoy the rest of the day 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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