Godzilla at Mathews

Having attended several Octoberamas, I got wondering when and where the Godzilla came to be associated with Mathews Elementary. Is it the mascot? Is it just for fun? When did the first one show up and who was behind it?

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After asking around a bit, I got some good information from Sara Jo Belknap and Mary Baughman. While you can expect more information in the future, below is an email sent on Tuesday January 24, 2012 by Sara Jo Belknap on the origins of Godzilla and Godzilla t-shirts at Mathews. To see the full collection of Mathews shirts including the ones mentioned below, check out the T-Shirt Collection.

“I thought … Godzilla got on the first Octoberama shirt in 1989? My son was in 2nd grade (dePutron) and my daughter was in Kinder.  The music teacher, Mr. Finkle, sold Mighty Mountain Lion merchandise and we wanted an EVENT tee-shirt for Octoberama that wouldn’t compete with his sales. I was really into Godzilla, -and real dinosaurs – at the time, dioramas, Christmas Wreaths, collages, centerpieces, so I just put the big guy above the school, wearing a Mathews shirt, playing maracas.”

“For the first few years, or so, there was both a Mighty Mountain Lion shirt and an Octoberama shirt, but then we merged the design/project and Godzilla was in and the Mighty Mountain Lion was out. I did the shirt designs, sometimes with kids, from ’89-’95.  PTA stepped in and found artist parents until 2001, when I started teaching art at Mathews and we revived the original Godzilla with the maracas design. There are several that were never worn, but are just part of the archives.  I didn’t give him an inventory list, but know he’s keeping them together.”

“Considering the fact that the last folks to wear a Mighty Mountain Lion shirt are all in their mid 20’s and 30’s, it might confuse the younger generation to revive it, but it is tempting, just on a nostalgia tour. I have the logo and have made iron-on individual versions for my kids’ contemporaries. In the Presidential race this fall, we could have a campaign and election, complete with heated debates, and put it to a vote!”

“I never intended to high-jack the Mountain Lion, but it just worked out that way.”

This article originally posted by BJ Heinley