April 19, 2019 – “Good Friday”

Hello, everyone!

I apologize for the delay of this entry, Easter weekends tend to be very hectic for me. Nonetheless, the subject matter of this entry entails a nasty surprise waiting for me, an interesting history lesson, and comforting sites. So, without further delay, starting from the beginning seems to be the best option for this report.

As I stepped into the office, I knew that I needed to take care of my Friday responsibilities. What awaited me presented a great challenge. The entire shelving contained books, from top to bottom. While I do not know the reason, my colleagues did not perform duties and the books stockpiled over the course of the week. As such, the entire task of shelving books from the Special Collections and University Archives fell at my feet. After two hours, I managed to complete this task.

Next, I gathered the Home Movie Collection hard drive as well as the records for the collection. Since I finished a set of films on Wednesday, I combed through the notes of the latest collection for any labels or indicator to help with the guide. Fortunately, I managed to sort the guide to reflect the details of the notes. When I actually started watching the footage, my knowledge of a certain subject came in handy.

In the 1950s, this particular family took a road trip to Mexico. The notes left no clues about what sites the family specifically visited and, quite honestly, most of the footage consisted of the videographer filming the Mexican countryside. A reprieve came when footage of the family visiting a mansion or palace that gave a great view of a city. Unfortunately, the notes did not indicate the name of the city either.

Faced with such a challenge, I took a guess regarding the city’s identity. Remembering when I studied the history of the United States Marine Corps in JROTC (Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps), I learned about the Battle of Chapultepec in the Mexican-American War. During the battle, the Corps lost a staggering amount of non-commissioned officers when they stormed the Castillo de Chapultepec. As a result, the pants of non-commissioned officers feature the “blood stripe” in honor of their sacrifice and the verse “From the Halls of Montezuma” opens the Marine Corps Hymn.

Thus, I thought the building was the Halls of Montezuma. After some research, my guess turned out to be very close. The features of the building in the film matched that of Castillo de Chapultepec in Mexico City. I felt satisfied watching various shots of the castle’s exterior and interior courtyard. The family even filmed some of the Los Niños Heroes monument, dedicated to six cadets who perished in the Battle of Chapultepec.

After the Mexican footage, the film moved on to scenes of beautiful, tree-covered mountains. The notes cited that the family visited the Smokey Mountain. I never visited the Smokeys before (I did hike in the Appalachians once), so I did not what to expect. The family visited a stream that ran under a bridge. The children wanted to play near the shore, so the parents did so with a very watchful eye.

Eventually, my shift ended. I checked the stacks one last time as I started to return all the related Home Movie Collection materials. No books remained, so I bid farewell to the staff and left for the day. unfortunately, I did not beat the weather and got soaked for it.

In review, I spent two hours reshelving books, identified an important Mexican landmark and watched a family visit the Smokey Mountains in the Home Movie Collection. Next week, I continue watching more of this famiy’s adventures. Until then, enjoy Easter 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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