Sunday, November 18, 2018
The University of Florida is located in Gainesville. Gainesville is a good-sized city about 35 miles north of Ocala. The Oaks Mall is located in Gainesville.
The alligator is the University of Florida mascot. Gator Mania, in the Oaks Mall, sells all kinds of items related to the University of Florida's sports teams and all this stuff features alligators. As I recall, there are two or three Gator Mania stores in the Oaks Mall and UF gator memorabilia is also sold in a large open area of the mall. You can buy a ton of "Gator" tee shirts featuring a gator engaging in a variety of activities.
It's one heck of a money-making operation which I don't understand at all. A number of years ago, T-shirts were plain, without lettering or advertising. They were worn primarily as undershirts. Then some marketing execs got a bright idea. Let's sell T-shirts that advertise our junk and tell people they don't need any other kind of shirt.
I remember clearly the first T-shirts I saw with advertising on it; Coca-Cola I believe. And I was insulted. Coca-Cola wanted me to buy a T-shirt and advertise their product! How stupid is that? Now, if they want to pay me to wear one of their T-shirts, I'd take that under consideration but I'll be darned if I'm going to wear their T-shirt for nothing.
You can see how well that turned out. Common sense got flipped on its head and people ran out to buy shirts advertising somebody else's product.
Nobody knew it at the time, but that's probably when Gator Mania was born.
"Photographers deal in things which are continually vanishing and when they have vanished there is no contrivance on earth which can make them come back again." — Henri Cartier-Bresson