with Staci, Candace, Darron, Patrick, and Trudy at Bistro on Spruce – View on Path.
- 7 months ago
A few weeks ago while I was at work, I talked to an older women about where she was from and what it was like growing up in San Diego. She told me a few interesting stories about Balboa Park because her grandparents had lived there as zoo and grounds caretakers in an old apartment above what is now either storage or the science center. One of her most vivid stories however was of her grandparents nursing and raising this baby orangutan named Maggie because one her eyes was blinded and there were concerns over her mother killing or abandoning her. She held many memories of this little creature and the bond it had with the people around her. As she was telling me this, I decided to Google Maggie and low and behold, she appeared right on the San Diego Zoo tumblr archives. When I showed her this, she got so excited and the formation of tears crept into the sides of her eyes. She was in the process of buying her first computer and the simple fact you could just search something and instantly find it was such a new concept to her despite the fact her kids and friends had been doing it for years. This experience really had a impact on me and gave me not just a greater appreciation for the tools and technology we now have today and the possibilities of what it may hold for our future but also the past and how part of this women’s life story is there, interwoven and recorded through a story or a memory, in a picture on the internet.
From the Archives - A Ride in the Old Jalopy
Maggie was one of the San Diego Zoo’s first orangutans. She and another youngster, Little Jiggs, arrived at the Zoo in 1928—in the front passenger seat of a Model T Ford. Both had been hand-raised and were used to people, so the caretaker delivering them just settled them in the seat of a car and drove them to the Zoo. Maggie apparently had a fondness for vehicles. While she was still young, Henry, her keeper at the Zoo, sometimes took her for short drives around the grounds in his own car, and Maggie seemed to thoroughly enjoy these jaunts, eagerly looking around and squealing excitedly.
Maggie had another fondness: taking apart gates and fences in her enclosure. She was very good at it, and more than once was found in the morning taking an unauthorized stroll. One day Henry and the Zoo’s executive director, Belle Benchley, could not find her in any of the usual places and became worried. But Belle had a hunch, and she went to check the employee cars parked near the primate area. As she approached, she heard a horn honking—and sure enough, there was Maggie, in the drivers seat of Henry’s car, doing her best to get it to go. Apparently she was in the mood for a drive in the country.
Listen and hear the old men tell their stories. #breakfast at The Breakfast Nook – View on Path.