By Jerry Yeatts, F390000
Ah, those college days. Ohio University, my alma mater, had a tradition that was carried on from the 1950s to the 1980s involving J-Prom. In honor of this springtime event, fraternities and sororities put on little traveling shows around campus. Most were created by writing a script, arranging music, designing sets, and choreographing dance movements.
The rules were pretty strict. The scenery/sets needed to be carried from one college green to another. If anyone talked while walking to and from each performance area on the campus, the group would be penalized. As soon as the scenery touched the ground, a timer started with a specific amount of time for us to finish the skit and vacate the performance area.
I remember walking up Richland Avenue on the Ohio University campus in Athens in my Donald Duck costume, helping to carry one of the scenery panels. We would then turn the corner onto Park Place and make our way to the terraced hillside of Carnegie Hall to perform our skit. Yes, I can actually say that I performed at Carnegie Hall! We cradled the scenery panels on our feet so as to prevent them from touching the ground until we were ready to perform.
The picture above was from a J-Prom skit in 1979 contrived by the men of Delta Tau Delta and the women of Alpha Gamma Delta. The theme for all J-Prom skits that particular year was “Behind the Scenes.” The name of our skit was “Behind the Scenes, What if the Mouseketeers went Delinquent?” The skit opened with Daisy and Donald waddling out, “talking” in duck. As you can imagine, it was a little difficult to dance in felt webbed feet! The fun and fellowship we all experienced were well worth the hard work of putting this all together.
Aristotle was right:”The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.” The enjoyment experienced by dozens of one-time strangers in putting together this whimsical skit was far greater than the performance of any one individual. Likewise, the friendships we make as members of Family Motor Coach Association seem to accentuate the overall feeling of fun, fellowship, and camaraderie that our association created as a foundation nearly 50 years ago.
Some pretty wacky theme days have been designated during the month of June. I could flip a coin and bet you didn’t know that Flip a Coin Day is celebrated on June 1. Yes, I could flip a coin and bet you didn’t know; oh, wait, that’s Repeat Day on June 3. It’s National Chocolate Ice Cream Day on June 7; Best Friends Day on June 8; and, the whole reason I even included a different photo with this month’s column, Donald Duck Day on June 9. If that’s not enough excitement for you, the month of June also features Go Fishing Day, Swim a Lap Day, Waffle Iron Day, Insurance Awareness Day, and Forgiveness Day! Just throw in Father’s Day and Hug Holiday Day, and your month is pretty complete.
Visit www.holidayinsights.com/moreholidays/june.htm (see the accompanying QR code) for a complete list.
Donald Duck Day commemorates Donald’s cartoon debut. He first appeared in The Wise Little Hen on June 9, 1934. While Donald celebrates his 78th birthday this year, he doesn’t act a day over 20! Donald even has a middle name, Fauntleroy.
Whenever I think of Walt Disney, I think of characters such as Donald, Daisy, Mickey, and Minnie. These endearing personalities have become great ambassadors for the Disney empire and symbolize fun for children of all ages. I’m sure these ambassadors started out as merely ideas in Mr. Disney’s imagination and transformed into the adorable figures we have grown to love.
Over the past few months, FMCA members have submitted ideas for our own ambassador to help celebrate FMCA’s 50th anniversary. More than 150 entries were received. Just as Walt Disney did many years ago, FMCA art director Guy Kasselmann translated some of the best ideas into designs for you to consider. They appear on page 56 of this magazine, and you may also view them at FMCA.com. Pick the one you like best. Voting will be open through the month of June, with an unveiling of our new ambassador at the 87th Family Reunion and Motorhome Showcase August 27-30, 2012, at the Indiana State Fairgrounds in Indianapolis, Indiana.
While you are at it, take a sneak peek at the partial list of entertainment offerings for our Family Reunion on page 52. You can register now for the event online at FMCA.com; by calling the Events Department at (800) 543-3622 or (513) 474-3622; or by using the registration form that appears on page 48 of this issue.
Walt Disney has helped generations of “kids” to step back, act a little silly at times, relive a favorite childhood experience, and to dream. Through your experiences with FMCA, I hope you can also step back, act a little silly at times, relive favorite adventures, and dare to dream. So, during the month of June, vote for your favorite character to represent FMCA; go get a doughnut in honor of National Doughnut Day; splurge a little on National Splurge Day; and let our FMCA magazine staff know how much you appreciate Family Motor Coaching magazine on National Columnists Day on June 23. I dare you . . . but only on June 1 – Dare Day.