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Wednesday, December 4, 2013

The ducks go marching one by one

The historian told the crowd gathered at The Peabody Hotel in Memphis, TN the backstory about the ducks. Frank Schutt, general manager 1925-1956 was on a duck hunting trip with his buddy.  They got to sipping Jack Daniels and before they knew it, they hadn't any ducks other than the live decoys. They put them in the hotel fountain. In the morning, realizing what they had done, and expecting a big mess in the lobby, they hurried in to see...the ducks still paddling in the fountain.
A guest staying at the hotel was an animal trainer for Barnum& Bailey Circus. He told Schutt that he could train the ducks to walk off the elevator and down a red carpet and into the fountain everyday at a specified time. Schutt agreed this would be a wonderful attraction. To this day, the "duck walk" draws crowds at 11:00 and 5:00 each day.

The fountain was carved out of a solid piece of Italian marble.
Children are allowed to sit on either side of the red carpet and watch the ducks march. That light in the background is at the elevator area. the ducks live in the penthouse and each day the handler goes to the roof and brings them down for their swim. If you click directly on the photo and look closely you can see the man in a red jacket with the ducks waddling behind. It was difficult to take pictures from our vantage point.
Hubby was less than enthusiastic when only four ducks exited the elevator in single file. he expected a dozen. But, it was a sight to behold, something we can say we have seen.
These photos were taken in the earlier days when Buddy Moreno performed.
Come back tomorrow to view holiday displays, and a two story Christmas tree in the lobby.


Sioux said...

I guess Bill was only a third as thrilled as he had anticipated?

Shelly said...

This makes me even more determined to visit there someday!

K9friend said...

We drove down to Memphis three years ago. Even though we stayed right across the street from the Peabody, we never made it over to see the ducks march. I recall being shocked at Beale Street, expecting it to be an enormous area, but finding only a couple of short blocks.

Critter Alley

Susan said...

WOWSERS, Linda. That's quite a place. Isn't that a riot about the duck walk? Imagine if that animal trainer had not stayed duck walk! But he did and the rest is history.

That was a "quacker" of a story. Loved it. Thanks for the great photos, too. Susan

Bookie said...

Glad you saw the ducks. Sometimes it takes a LOT to impress a husband! It is a unique story.

thisisme said...

What an amazing story! What a sight to behold all those ducks waddling along the red carpet must have been. I did smile when you said that they were kept in the Penthouse. Lucky them!

Val said...

Does anybody follow with a pooper scooper in case a duck has an accident on the red carpet?

River said...

For me the amazing part is ducks living in the penthouse!

Julia Gordon-Bramer said...

Oh yes! There is the answer to my question on the previous post. :-)

Daisy said...

Aw, I bet this was fun to see! :)