Thursday, August 11, 2011

Peabody Ducks

The Peabody where I am staying in Orlando is best known for a custom dating to the 1930s, when the General Manager of the time, Frank Schutt, having returned from a weekend hunting trip in Arkansas, he & friends amused themselves by leaving 3 of their live English Call Ducks decoys in the hotel fountain. I guess guests loved the idea, and since then, 5 ducks have played in the fountain every day.

In 1940, a Bellman volunteered to care for the ducks. He was given the position of "Duckmaster" and served in that position until 1991. As a former circus animal trainer, he taught the ducks to march into the hotel lobby, which started the famous Peabody Duck March; every day at 11:00 a.m., the Peabody Ducks are escorted from their penthouse home, on the Plantation Roof, to the lobby via elevator. The ducks, accompanied by the King Cotton March by John Phillip Sousa, then proceed across a red carpet to the hotel fountain, made of a solid block of Italian travertine marble. The ducks are then ceremoniously led back to their penthouse at 5:00 p.m.

I tried SO HARD to get signed up for the duck walk, but it is all booked for the days I am here - le sigh! But I'm on the wait list. But just in case that food poisioning I am praying for doesn't strke the people signed up for tomorrow, here is what I would look like leading the ducks.

duckmarch.wmv Watch on Posterous

F$cking Orlando. So fabulously trippy.

Posted via email from Completely Barking Mad

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