Wednesday, January 27, 2016

"Teddy" the Bear

"I remember the bear quite well - it was the talk of the town [Humboldt], it used to ride in the car with them. My dad told me of one time when they were going somewhere in the car, it got its collar hung up on the turning signal lever and almost ripped it off...
- Donald Reese
"Teddy" the bear...
He called her his "playmate".

Bob Bockwitz - whose family had the famous Humboldt bear - shares:
"The bear was one of three orphaned cubs that were adopted by individuals. (Things were a little different in those days) The two people in the picture are my dad Virgil, and my brother Rodney. When dad brought Teddy home (yes, for want of a better name, we called her Teddy) she was about the size of a football and snuggled into his jacket. She was bottle raised, and lived in the house until, as she got pretty good sized, my mother said 'OUT!' In most respects she was similar to having a dog. She rode with Dad in the pickup, and loved attention. She grew to be quite an attraction in the area and was a regular at meetings of what in those days was known as the 'Conservation Club'. She was still fairly young when this picture was taken, and did get considerably larger than shown here. There are so many stories that it would be impossible to tell them all. Some are hilarious. The question was asked what happened to her. That is best left unanswered. I will say that in a manner of speaking, she is still with us. It really amazing that her picture sparked so much interest."
Virgil Bockwitz (his son Rodney behind him...) with "Teddy"

Bob also shared:
"Only once did she ever get out of her cage and go 'visiting'. It's not known where her adventure took her, but it is known where she decided that she was tired and wanted to go to sleep. It happened to be about 5:00 in the morning when she found herself outside a trailer house inhabited by an unnamed individual who had probably returned home shortly before and was apparently sound asleep when the bear joined him on the bed. It's not know how long she was there before the gentleman woke up, but what IS known is that at some point they both realized something was not right. The gentleman ended up in the yard and the bear was headed for the safety of home. I'm sure that only those who are my age or older would have any recollection of that "adventure", but it's the type of story that can't be made up. What has been really interesting over the years, is hearing the various renditions of this story, as told by old-timers."