Tarzan and the 1967 Central Cambria Hall of Fame

Thanks to my dad’s recognition that cool moments need to be preserved, and my mom’s genius for saving just the right things, I just saw the program for the 1967 Central Cambria County Sports Hall of Fame, which, among others, included good ole Ron Kostelnik and Johnny Weissmuller.

Aaaa-wah-ah-ah-ahhh–wah-ah-ah aaaaa!

Tarzan himself signed the program, along with NBC sportscaster and the night’s MC Mel Allen, ace pitcher Warren Spahn, Michigan State Coach Duffy Daugherty and legendary baseball umpire Augie Donatelli.

Born in Hungary, Weissmuller spent his early years in Cambria County, Pennsylvania where he contracted polio at age nine and, on the advice of his doctor, took up swimming to recuperate. He went on to become the world’s fastest swimmer, setting records in three events at the 1924 Olympics and besting two of those records four years later in Amsterdam. When he retired from swimming in 1929, he held every world free style record from 100 yards to a half-mile.

But, Weissmuller is best known for the 12 years he played Tarzan and the yell he created that became so famous it holds a trademark with the following description:

The mark is a yell consisting of a series of approximately ten sounds, alternating between the chest and falsetto registers of the voice, as follow – 1) a semi-long sound in the chest register, 2) a short sound up an interval of one octave plus a fifth from the preceding sound, 3) a short sound down a Major 3rd from the preceding sound, 4) a short sound up a Major 3rd from the preceding sound, 5) a long sound down one octave plus a Major 3rd from the preceding sound, 6) a short sound up one octave from the preceding sound, 7) a short sound up a Major 3rd from the preceding sound, 8) a short sound down a Major 3rd from the preceding sound, 9) a short sound up a Major 3rd from the preceding sound, 10) a long sound down an octave plus a fifth from the preceding sound.

Here it is:

Anyway, by February 20 of 1967, my dad was a 27-year old Super Bowl champion and the proud father of two with another on the way. He and the Packers would go on the win another Super Bowl the next season.

I’m glad he had to foresight to ask his table mates to sign his program and I’m really glad my mom kept it all these years.

Thanks again to Cambria County for honoring my dad and his fellow recipients on that cool night in February.

Here’s my dad during the 1966 season with future NFL Hall of Famers Henry Jordan and Willie Davis
Here, courtesy of the Cambria County Hall of Fame website, is my dad receiving his Hall of Fame plaque.
Johnny Weissmuller, who started swimming to combat the effects of polio, became the world’s fastest swimmer.
Then he became Tarzan.
Here he is in 1967 receiving his Cambria County Hall of Fame award.
This is the program my mom saved for 52 years.
I think we should all get our table mates signatures at important events.
Pretty cool, right?

17 thoughts on “Tarzan and the 1967 Central Cambria Hall of Fame

  1. Fascinating! My husband enjoyed reading this too. When he was 8-10 years old, he played baseball with Warren Spahn’s son and Warren used to come to some of the games😀.

  2. Always great to see those old pictures of your dad. Was and still proud to tell everyone his was from good old COLVER PA. Give my best to your mom and your family . NICK…….

    1. Will do and thanks! Also, your daughter is an excellent writer. I enjoy following her. Also, should I be harvesting my garlic now?

  3. Brings back great memories of when your Dad used to visit you at the station. We could tell right away he could spot the nonsense we were putting out, and yet he put up with us provided we didn’t steer his daughter into mischief!

  4. So, I have no way to validate it, but supposedly my Uncle John Tyczynski, married to my mother’s sister, Lucille Tillman, tried out for the part of Tarzan and lost out to Weismueller. I did see a photo of him from the time in his swimming garb and can say he looked the part. John went on to be a career firefighter with the Milwaukee Fire Department. One might consider him to have “Tarzan-style” bravery. I only know that he was loved by many and especially by my Aunt Lou, one of the most unique souls I’ve encountered in my life. She was also loved by many, especially her “dear, dear John,” who truly was the love of her life (even if he lost out to that Weissmueller guy!)

    1. This is an amazing story Beth. Thank you so much for sharing it! Here’s to Uncle John and Aunt Lou!

  5. Also, a friend of mine told me a great story about the antics in pro baseball’s locker rooms at the time. Warren Spahn? Well, after pulling a prank on a certain player who sought retaliation, Spahn found himself in the locker room putting on his shoes to go home…only to realize they’d been nailed down to the floor. The wisenheimer player who borrowed the hammer and nails from a maintenance worker? Felix Mantilla who played for the Milwaukee Braves when they secured the 1957 Workd Series championship title. He’s a great guy who continues to make his home in Milwaukee.

  6. On your garlic. I hope you meant planting it not harvesting. Oct, is the time to plant the cloves. If you didn’t pull it yet do so & check it, Hope it;s ok. If so pull it apart & replant it now. Thank you for the kind words of our daughters writings. She loves to do it in her free time.

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