The Indian on the Tootsie Roll Pop
told by Larry Rosenblum,
Port Angeles, Washington
There is a legend associated with the wrapper of Tootsie Pop suckers. The story is that if you come across a wrapper with a picture of a boy in an Indian costume shooting an arrow at a star, and you send that wrapper to the company that makes Tootsie Pops, you will receive either a free sucker or a case of suckers. (It depends on who is telling the story.)
That's the legend, and this part is for real. One day I was working at NBC editing a show with the associate director who was also my friend. We were clowning around, and he used his left hand to write a letter to the company that makes Tootsie Pops asking about the story. He was right-handed, but he used his left hand in an attempt to make the letter look like it came from a little kid. His name is Rick, so he signed the letter "Ricky."
Tootsie Roll Industries, Inc. sent back a nice letter explaining that the rumor had surfaced over fifty years ago, but nobody knows how or why. "Our records do not indicate that our company ever sponsored any type of promotion surrounding the Indian, or any other picture on the wrapper," said the letter, and unfortunately it also said, "There has never been anyone who ever got Tootsie Pops free for sending in wrappers to our company." What you do get free is a fairy tale about how an Indian chief was responsible for the invention of Tootsie Pops.
Since I've destroyed that legend, here's a true fact. There's a basketball court concealed inside the top of the Matterhorn at Disneyland. It's exactly half regulation size.