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Darius Finds Second Calling as a Duck-Herder

January 05, 2009

Quote of the day: “Those ducks really hauled it once they got on the red carpet!”–crew-member John Hadden, talking about the ducks at Orlando’s Peabody Hotel.

Next up, Darius and crew headed to Orlando’s Peabody Hotel for the Duck Ceremony. Twice a day, the ducks go through a procession.

Visitors from all around come to see the daily Duck Ceremony, which started in the 1930s. Visitors this day got a chance to see an even more unique sight…

as Darius served as honorary Duck Master! This is an honor typically reserved for heads of state and celebrities (like Oprah Winfrey), so we felt humbled to participate. Thanks to Linda Grier, long-time friend of the Smalley family, for making this happen!

Duck Master Dave Robinson passed the reins to Darius for the day, and he and Peabody manager Annaliza Religiaso presented Darius with a rubber ducky, a certificate, and a special duck cane to commemorate the day.

It was a true honor to work with the ducks, who present themselves more professionally than many members of the Darius Goes West crew!

Thanks Dave, Annaliza, and Mickey Grier (who attended the ceremony in place of mom, Linda, who had to be out of town!

After the Duck Ceremony, we high-tailed it to Tampa for a stop at Carl Sagan Academy Middle School.

We got to hang out with students there, who came and met us outside.

CSAMS has a Documentary Film class, so it was great to talk with folks with similar interests.

In fact, Omar and Troy–two students in the class–have been to an international conference in Orlando to screen a film they made.

The students filmed our visit.

Teacher and Community Outreach Director Margaret Allsop told us her after-school class is going to put the footage into a video to be featured soon on the DGW web site! We can’t wait!

Thanks CSAMS and Margaret!

Later, we met up with first-year University of South Florida medical students Kenzo, Josh, and Kevin.

Kenzo, Josh, and Kevin hosted a screening of DGW at USF’s College of Medicine.

The question-and-answer session with the audience was great.

Question: “What level rapids were those when you went rafting?”

Answer, from Collin: “4’s and 5’s–except for that last one. It was like a 12.”

Question: “Did you guys have a back-up plan, in case anything on the road went wrong?”

Answer, from Andrew: “Nope.”

Question (sort of): “All these girls back here want to know if they can take you out tonight.”

Answer, from Darius: “Definitely.”

It was a long but great day. Thank you, Dave, Mickey, Annaliza, Margaret, Kenzo, Josh, Kevin, CSAMS, USF, and everybody else who made our south Florida trip such a success!


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One Response to “Darius Finds Second Calling as a Duck-Herder”

  1. On February 10th, 2009, grace! said:

    aww. thoes duckes are cute, you guys are to funny.

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