“If I’ve told you once, I’ve told you a dozen times.” Sound familiar?
Well, Gordon Kuntz, Tulsa native living in Minnesota and a Will Rogers fan, can’t help himself. He found another movie poster for the collection he delivered earlier this year to the Will Rogers Memorial Museum.
When he brought the hundreds of items he has been collecting for the past 25 years to the Museum in 2014, he thought he was through watching for Will’s movie posters to pop up for sale and said that.
However, since that time, he discovered a rare size poster of Doubting Thomas and was tempted into purchasing the piece, measuring about 81-inches by 81-inches, an item studios stopped issuing in the 1970s. He brought it to the Museum in the summer.
Jennifer Holt, the Museum’s curator, received an early Christmas gift.
Another poster. A large one for Ambassador Bill.
Kuntz spotted the poster for sale in November and called to see if it is was in the Museum’s collection.
“We have four Ambassador Bill’s, but not that one,” Holt said.
Unwrapping the new poster was like opening a Christmas gift, with all her co-workers checking out Kuntz’ new find.
Ambassador Bill, a Fox Production, was filmed in 1931. It is one of the movies showing regularly at Will Rogers Memorial Museum in the small theatre, where a different movie is presented each day. (A listing of movie dates is on the Museum website www.willrogers.com.)
Like most of Will’s movies, it brings in Oklahoma. Ambassador Bill Harper is from Oklahoma and is appointed Ambassador to Sylvania. Will also used his roping skills when he gave the boy king of Sylvania a pair of chaps and taught him to rope — and shared his love of the game by teaching him baseball.
Ray Milland, later to become a matinee idol, had a part in the movie.
Some posters in the Kuntz collection have been on display in the Claremore Museum for some time. About a year ago, Kuntz brought a massive collection of movie posters and other art and artifacts to the Museum.
He had undoubtedly the world’s largest collection of Will Rogers’ movie posters, and said at that time he realized they belonged in the Museum, where everyone could enjoy them.
The Kuntz collection is currently being appraised.
The Will Rogers Memorial Museum holds special memories to Kuntz, who visited with his parents when he was young. A product of Tulsa schools, he is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Jim Kuntz of Tulsa. His father died recently.
He lives in Minnesota, where he has had a long career in the medical technology field, but visits Oklahoma and the Will Rogers Memorial Museum often.