The picture on the right is me; that happy blonde headed guy with flowing curls, that have preserved in a ‘candy box’ since my first haircut at age 3! On the left is that handsome devil Colo, the first gorilla born in captivity at the Columbus Zoo, at the State of the Art…Great Apes House, as it was called in 1957. I outweighed Colo at birth, he clocked in at 6lbs 5ozs while the scales hit almost 10lbs for me.
That never stopped us from being friends. At the age of 5 I went through that new showplace when we was only weeks old, and I stood front and center watching Colo in his mother’s arms looking at all the people pointing fingers or taking pictures , while muttering things like ‘He is so cute’!
What I saw was another little kid gazing at all the new, exciting things in this big new world, scared but yet curious with wonder.
Just a few years back while attending a PBR event in Colombus, Carol and I went back to the zoo so I could see my friend again. His old home had been replaced with a newer one and Colo is separated by glass from the younger gorillas ; very sadly for me was that wonder in his eyes was gone. I watched him glance back and forth as people walked by, this time muttering things like, ‘boy he looks old!’
I decided to put myself front and center again, just like that 5 year old little boy did. It took a minute, but Colo looked me in the eye. Call me crazy but I think he knnew. He knew I’s kept his picture and mine together all these years.
That impressive moment we shared when that 5 year old boy figured out we are all the same; just some of us talk, others moo or bark, some may fly, others swim. All the time there are the slow ones, the fast ones. Some that can sleep together and some that eat one another. Those two youngsters looking at each other through that glass. All these years later; still seeing the world through a child’s eyes!