Whisper - Tuesday, December 15, 2015

The best thing about writing the blog for the American Treasure Tour is dedicating part of it to talking about pieces on display throughout our expansive, 100,000 sq. ft. space.  And the best part of that is never running out of subject matter.  For example - and this is sort of random here, so bear with me - one day I can talk about the fabulous technology behind the metal detector. The next day could be Dennis the Menace, the day after that the sport of fencing, and then the Ramey family of orchestrion creators.  If I want to take an unexpected turn from there, it could be something so unlikely as a Disney movie about elephants.  And all this while sticking to the purpose of describing items on display in both our Music Room and our Toy Box! 

This is NOT an image from Whispers, but it's so cute we didn't care.

This is NOT an image from Whispers, but it's so cute we didn't care.

So today, we are going to talk about a movie Disney produced about elephants, the poster for which is on display in our Toy Box.  Whispers, An Elephant's Tale tells the story of a young elephant in Africa who loses his mother to poachers and gloms onto another female elephant, Groove, who helps him on his search for the Great River, hoped to be a paradise. Directed by Beverly and Dereck Joubert, two accomplished nature documentarians, and released in 2000 by Disney, the film is live action with voicing by actual human beings, including Bassett, Anne Archer, and Betty White.  Bottom line, there is nothing in the world more adorable than a baby elephant.  And this is a fact, not an opinion.
QUESTION:  In what state of the United States is the highly regarded Elephant Sanctuary, established to provide captive elephants with a caring safe haven?
A)  Pennsylvania
B)  California
C)  Tennessee
D)  Missouri
ANSWER BELOW

CHINA!  Relations between the United States and China were not especially good after China adopted communism during the Chinese Civil War, when forces under the direction of Chairman Mao Tse-Tung won in 1949.  (That is not to say they were great before then, they just got more complicated afterwards.)  Things improved under President Richard Nixon with his 'ping-pong politics,' but it was not until Jimmy Carter that the United States government officially recognized communist China, while severing diplomatic relations with Taiwan.  That was on this day in 1978. 

ENSIGN PARKER!  Celebrating a birthday today is the beloved comedian Tim Conway.  Born in Willoughby, Ohio in 1933, Conway's became a regular face on television as a young man.  He reached a national audience first as Ensign Parker in McHale's Navy (and would receive top billing in the film McHale's Navy Joins the Air Force in 1965 - a poster for which is on display in our Music Room), then in his own short-lived sitcom and variety show.  During the mid-1970's, he star reached high in both The Carol Burnett Show and movies paired with Don Knotts.  Tim continues to make fans laugh as he enters his 82nd year.

QUOTE:  I've never really taken anything very seriously.  I enjoy life because I enjoy making other people enjoy it. - Tim Conway

ANSWER:  C)  Tennessee.  The Hohenwald-based organization is a wonderful community for elephants.  Check them out here:  https://www.facebook.com/ElephantSanctuaryTN