I know I’ve been torturing you all week with my hints of an exciting discovery in panda history. To be truthful, it does not reveal any new information, but it DOES put me, my cute Bob self, in much closer proximity to the actual events!
Let me explain: when I first started on my journey to find my inner panda, I came across Vicki Constantine Croke’s book about Ruth Harkness just sitting on a display shelf in the library. Coincidence? I think not! Now let’s jump ahead five years to the present, and a phone call from my friend RH. He tells me that he found an old photo album that belonged to his late father. The album turned out to belong to very close friends of his parents, who in 1937, took a driving trip from Seattle, down to California, then heading east through Yellowstone, ( where they ..um…fed the bears) and finally to Chicago, where they took this picture:
In July of 1937, this could only be Su-Lin, America’s first panda. Now I know there is lot’s of controversy in the panda community of the “kidnap” of this panda baby, and I won’t get into that here. My point is, that the first panda in America was visited and photographed by family friends of MY friend, which puts me at two degrees of separation from the first panda in America (not to mention the first panda that rode in a taxi and went to parties.) Was it not destiny, that I began to draw pandas? That I founded the Institute for Contemporary Panda Satire? Huzzah!
I was born to draw pandas and chronicle their adventures! Huzzah!
Be the Bear!
Bob T. (it’s my destiny) Panda