Posts Tagged ‘B&I’

Tacoma Public Library Image Archives

Today Ivan the Ape died under anesthesia at the age of 50. I’d just mentioned him in my last post about the death of J.P. Patches. Two of the greatest celebrities of my childhood have now gone on to greener pastures.

Ivan came to Tacoma in 1964 and was basically raised as a human. He was kept in a stark concrete and glass room at the B&I store where us kids loved to watch him march around and play on his tire swing. Even then I felt a sense of desolation as I watched Ivan try to make sense out of life in such a drab and unstimulating cage. Even though he had many people who loved and cared for him, keeping him in such a mental institution-like indoor environment for almost three decades was inhumane. (more…)

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