We all have them, and we all fall back on them from time to time. Today is for some weird reason a great day to fall back on memories, shops closed, cinema’s closed, and here in Sydney it was raining for a little while. So as I fell back to memories (also known as events from the past), I remembered a situation where none other than Bruce Boxleitner got me in some problems with my boss. It wasn’t really his fault, but I would never openly do anything wrong, so blaming Bruce seems like a good idea.
The setting was that I had to travel to Sydney from Amsterdam in 1998, it had a stopover and one night in Singapore, now I had never been to Singapore, so my boss told me to select a hotel for the night. I remembered that series Bring em back alive with Bruce Boxleitner and it involved the Raffles hotel, so colour me happy, that hotel actually exists. I thought all things on TV were imaginative, so I told my boss to get me into the Raffles for one night. He came back 2 hours later that that was never ever going to happen, from my puzzled look he knew I had no idea, apparently the Raffles charged $5000 per night and that was in 1998. I did not know that and he asked me how I got the name, Well: “I got the hotel advice from Bruce Boxleitner”, so my boss told me to tell him that he is bonkers (I still have to tell Bruce that one day), anyway, for some reason I thought back to that memory and I suddenly considered something else, the character he plays Frank Buck actually existed. I have a decent excuse being Euro-Australian, but when you consider what Frank Buck had achieved between 1884 and 1950, I am amazed that no one in the streaming industry had considered turning that live into a mini-series or a movie. Consider that he had caught over 100,000 live specimens back to the United States for Zoo’s and circuses.
Amongst other achievements, he was a director of the San Diego Zoo. He displayed wild animals at the 1933–34 Century of Progress exhibition as well as the 1939 New York World’s Fair.
He toured with Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, made several books and had a zoo in Texas named after him. We now might look skeptical on some of those actions, yet pre WW2, he basically brought Asian wildlife to America. Some of the parts that might have been unknown to many was that he had invented a method of force-feeding snakes, the means “by which captive pythons are mainly fed today”, the man (with co-authors) created eight books between 1930 and 1945, he also starred in documentaries as himself or as the narrator in eight movies, most might remember the part he had as himself in Africa Screams with Abbott and Costello (not the Australian politicians). There was a lot that I was not aware of and even as some skated around the court case that involved Frank Buck and Harry M. Wegeforth, there is a lot that seem counter to the character of Frank Buck, it seems that two titans butted heads on issues that should not exist to the level it did, but that is my personal take on the matter.
Yet what is decently clear is that Frank Buck was larger than life, as far as I can tell he was a force of good and even as some might remember Bruce Boxleitner in this role, there is also place for a serious piece of work, and a person like that could inspire the next generation, not a bad idea for a movie, or a mini series. We have made them for people a lot less inspiring than Frank buck ever was.