Sunday, November 22, 2020

Diving Deep With Donald Duck

And Citizen -

Courtesy of Citizen
When you are a little kid, you tend to watch a lot of cartoons. And growing up in the 70s where in many homes the television frequently took on the role of babysitter/parent you watch even more.  When you spend so much time with friendly, cartoon characters they tend to take on special significance . And for this Northern Youth apart from Snoopy, my Guardo Camino was Donald Duck.  

Here's the thing, there's absolutely nothing wrong with Mickey Mouse. But to my way of thinking, Mickey was the popular kid who always had brand new school clothes, got straight As, popular with all the kids and was on student council.  Again, nothing wrong with that, but I just didn't personally identify. 

When I entered the University of Oregon as a transfer student in the late 80s, I did not realize that my path and Donald's would inextricably merge.
FILE: The Oregon Duck lies on the ground during the fourth quarter of an NCAA college football game in Eugene, Ore. Ahead of the 2014 college football season, The Associated Press asked its panel of Top 25 voters, who are known for ranking the nation's top teams each week, to weigh in on which school had the best mascot. Oregon's costumed Duck came in fifth place. (Ryan Kang/AP)

What most of us at the U did not know, was the real reason why the mascot bore (at times) such a striking resemblance to Donald Duck himself.  Well, gentle reader, allow me to offer some background.

The UofO had sports teams since the turn of the century, but the mascot name shifted back and forth quite a bit.  For a time the teams were known as "Webfeet" and the students occasionally as "Webfoot".  

Paul Caputo's 2014 article on sheds some light on the Duck's arrival at the U of O -
The University of Oregon has gone by the name Ducks since around World War II—though not officially until 1978. It’s a name that traces back to the late 1800s—though not officially adopted by the university until 1926—when the team was called the Webfoots—or Webfeet, or Webfooters—which derives from a nickname for people from coastal Massachusetts, or possibly from a derogatory term that Californian miners called western Oregonian miners. And Oregon’s mascot is (kind of exactly) Walt Disney’s Donald Duck because of a handshake agreement from 1947 that was not put in writing until 1973.

Yes, that's right, Oregon represented one of the early Disney character partnerships.  
Leo Harris (second from right, holding Puddles) and Walt Disney (far right) in 1947. University of Oregon Special Collections and University Archives.

The informal use of Ducks lasted until 1947, when the school’s athletic director Leo Harris made a handshake deal with a close friend of his, some guy named Walt Disney, to allow the use of a likeness of Donald Duck as the school’s mascot. However, because nothing is simple in this story, even this relationship wasn’t made official for several decades. According to an article on

The unique deal stood for 20 years, with Walt Disney Productions providing several versions of the duck for Oregon’s use, until the cartoonist’s death in 1966. That’s when both parties realized no formal contract existed granting the University the right to Donald’s image. The best evidence Harris could offer was a photograph taken two decades earlier showing the late Mr. Disney in an Oregon letterman’s jacket with the Oregon Duck clearly visible on the front. Disney representatives agreed to negotiate the first written contract in 1973 for the athletic department’s continued use of Donald.

Courtesy of the University Oregon/Disney

So being what coach Bowerman referred to as a Man of Oregon, my attachment to Ducks in general, and Donald in particular is even stronger than most ; )

But finally, and this is going to sound a little goofy, so stay with me - the nephews.
Courtesy of Disney/wikipedia
The backstory of how the nephews - Huey, Dewey and Louie came to live with Donald.  Long story short, the parents sent them to live with uncle Donald owing to a medical emergency - they had played a rather disastrous practical joke on their father who was sent to the hospital, forcing their mother to drop them off for what was meant to be a short-term stay.  Having been through something somewhat similar (no practical jokes were involved), my sisters and I were sent to live with aunts - me to Columbus, Ohio and my sisters to Kentucky. I was only a year or so old, but those are my earliest memories. It stuck with me, and to this day there is a bond I have with these two aunts that is, apart from my wife, the strongest and deepest relationship that I have ever had. 

Now I know (or suspect I know) what you are thinking - "Dude, you're a grown-assed man, get a grip!"  Well, to that I would say this - a watch can be much more than something to tell time, and when it speaks to you on a personal level, it can touch you in ways that surprise you. For me this is one of those watches.

Okay, so enough sentimentality!  Here are the pertinents -
Courtesy of Citizen
The case measures 44 mm in diameter, is reputed water resistant to 333 feet, and is powered by the Eco Drive movement - meaning it will re-charge itself making battery changes a thing of the past.

Available direct from Citizen for $295









Silver-Tone, Stainless Steel, Blue Ion-Plated Bezel


WR100/10Bar/333ft [Swimming, Showering & Snorkeling]


Domed Mineral Crystal


J800, 3 Hand, Day / Date


AW0075-06W Disney Classic

Introduced on: 9/16/2020

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