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Literature 300 – Elementary School Textbook
Some discoveries owe everything to chance. Simply being the right person, at the right place, at the right time allows for a discovery to be made. These discoveries are often hiding in plain sight. The Handwriting Connections 2 textbook is a perfect example.
This discovery was made in September 2005 by Gilbert Garcia while he attended his daughter’s “meet the teacher” night. He looked at her handwriting book and noticed a Purple #166 on the cover. Gilbert brought this finding to the attention of the M.U.S.C.L.E. community.
Further research needed to be done to unlock the history of this picture. The first step was to contact the original commercial photographer, Ryan Roessler. Mr. Roessler is respected photographer having taken photographers for a wide variety of clients. He is widely known for his work with Absolut, Starbucks, and Nature Made.
Mr. Roessler was very surprised to be contacted about this picture. At the time of the interview he reported that he had taken the picture about 8 to 10 years ago (1995~1997). He had been hired by McDougel and Littell to take some pictures for a series of textbooks. His basic concept was that each textbook would have a different color. He decided that he would use various objects to provide the color. The textbook company provided some of the props, but Mr. Rossler provided a majority of the toys – he noted that some employees brought their own toys too.
He was unsure if he had brought the M.U.S.C.L.E. figure or if it had come from a McDougel and Littell employee.
Mr. Roessler still has the original transparency of the picture. He even offered to look for the original figure that was in the picture. He said that if he had it, then he would donate it to the UofM archives. Unfortunately Mr. Roessler was not able to find the figure. He was also unable to reproduce prints of the pictures because of the antiquated archival process of the original picture.
The University of M.U.S.C.L.E. archives house a copy of the book. It was purchased for thirteen cents from an online bookstore.