19 March 2019

A Handsome Man

The stories of Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto are many, and its place within the story of Disney’s mythology is complex. It is a vast storehouse of artifacts that tie in to many adventures of the Disney films, attractions, and stories. It resides in a space that recognizes both what has come before, the Adventurers Club, and where the current home to escapades, the Society of Explorers and Adventurers or S.E.A. There is overlap between the two adventure seeking organizations, but it is Trader Sam’s tie to a particular individual of the Adventurers Club that I’m most interested in at the moment.

Trader Sam clearly values his friends and colleagues, as many of the correspondences that he has received are framed and placed upon the walls of the Grog Grotto. One postcard reads, “There is a man, a handsome man. As adventurous as he can be. And our friend Trader Sam, actually knows this man… it’s me.” It is signed H, and is most certainly a callback to the days where the only home for adventures could be found on Pleasure Island.

The H in question is none other than Hathaway Brown, the Adventurers Club’s resident aviator and ladies’ man. Often found with a drink in his hand and an innuendo on his lips, Hathaway was definitely bold and daring if, at times, his runway seemed a bit short.

The postcard actually references one of the longstanding traditions of the Adventurers Club, the improvisation of “When the Saints Go Marching In” by various citizens of the Adventurers Club during the Hoopla show. This segment included verses that mocked or played up certain members of the club, or patrons in the audience. While each show and segment was unique, there were a couple of verses of “When the Saints Go marching In” that would come up from time to time. In this instance, Hathaway would use the same quote as is present on the back of Trader Sam’s postcard, but instead of referencing Sam, Hathaway’s song would instead call out the club’s treasurer, Otis Wren.

There is a lot of overlap between Trader Sam’s, the Adventurers Club, and the S.E.A., but perhaps the most noteworthy is their sense of fun. Hathaway’s chide, whether directed at either Otis T. Wren or Trader Sam, is a quirky reminder of that spirit. It also reminds us that while something may be gone, it still can live on with us.

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