Friday, January 30, 2009

Harry and Brookside Park, Now The Cleveland Zoo

Harry liked to ride his bike as a kid and my mom used to walk down there as a teen--it was then called Brookside Park.

When we were kids, it had animals in cages. Here are some pictures that were taken back then of the bears in the cages. Their exhibit is completely different now.

I remember when the zoo got flooded it wiped out all the reptiles they had. I felt bad about that because I liked the snakes. Monkey island was always fun. Did you know most monkeys don't like to go in water? They lived on this "island" of rock. It's pretty high with water all around it in a mote. That is one thing that is still there today.

Another area of Brookside Park that is still part of the zoo today is water fowl lake in the center. They used to have a "Children's Farm" where kids could hold rabbits and guinea pigs. I was sort of afraid to hold animals when I was little because I was afraid they'd poop or pee on me. I always liked petting furry creatures though. They also had goats and I remember one day a goat started grabbing someone's hat.

One time, my dad and I took a couple of his grandkids to the zoo. It was a very fun time! Here is a picture from that day. This is when my dad still had his hair! Brookside Park has gone through many changes over the years to become the Cleveland Metropark Zoo today.

In dad's later days, I always invited him to join Gerard and me when we went to the zoo. I knew he couldn't walk all too much, but they have big chairs chairs that we could rent to push him around in. I figured we could just do a section one day and then another section a different day. I know he would have enjoyed seeing all the changes and the animals, but he needed to be close to a bathroom and was afraid if he went out he wouldn't make it in time, even though he had the incontinence pads, he just didn't want to chance being embarrassed. It's too bad though, because it would have been such a fun time.

On the Red Pine Mountain blog, Mountain Woman invited her readers to write a one-page essay about a familiar place so I wrote about the Cleveland Zoo. Here is the link if you'd like to read about how it is today: Red Pine Mountain. For current zoo pictures, visit my other blog at and scroll down to the bottom for a zoo slide show. There's also one on the sidebar over there too.


Anonymous said...

How considerate that you would invite him along with you. I am sure he appreciated your thinking of him, even if he wasn't able to go with you.

Anonymous said...

I love going to the zoo too and it really is amazing to think about how much they've changed over the years. Excellent post and wonderful memory. :-D

Susan Cook said...

Great pictures. I love to look at old pictures like that. Great memories from your childhood. I love going to zoos too.

Michelle said...

These are some great old pictures of the zoo. Zoo's sure have changed through the years. Thanks so much for stopping by. Have a great day.

Anonymous said...

Anne--Yes, I think he was pleased that we invited him.

Lynne--Thanks, glad you liked this post.

Sue & Michelle--Glad you enjoyed seeing the old pictures. I have a ton but most are slides.

Anonymous said...

Goodness! Every time I visit this site I am so hopeful that our world will someday have more people like your dad!

Karen, author of "My Funny Dad, Harry" said...

Maria--Thanks maria, what a nice comment! I really appreciate that you think well of my dad. He was such a wonderful husband and father and friend.

Anonymous said...

I loved going to zoo.. Your article reminded me of my child hood days.. I loved the pic of a grandpa and grand son.. Lovely..

Justborngarments said...

Zoo! It's always thrilling environment for children. Share your Sweet memories to here. I like the animal pictures.

"My Funny Dad, Harry" Book Giveaway

Congratulations to all the winners of the giveaway for "My Funny Dad, Harry" at Red Pine Mountain. I am so happy that four of my regular commenters won! Read what Tim thought of it at Everyday Living.