Staten Island Zoo in 1963
One of my first memories of our move to Staten Island, was when we visited the zoo. As my family studied the alligators, I watched a daring, young boy straddle the railing like a cowboy.
I was impressed. I copied his stunt, then I promptly fell in. Luckily, I fell onto a platform, not into the pit. I slammed my face horribly on the railing. I remember feeling very embarrassed that an older woman I didn't know, was suddenly pulling me back to safety.
Sad Looking Face
This blurry photo was taken days after my fall. It hardly shows my swollen face or black eye.
I remember being very embarrassed to start first grade in a new city, with my distorted face. But for years, I loved bragging about how I'd fallen into the alligator pit... sort of.
So today we went to the Houston Zoo and I was ready to see the gators and remember my 6-year-old encounter.
But all I found was a tiny crocodile of some sort, in the reptile house.
No Gators at the Zoo
Well, we evidently have no alligators in the Houston Zoo right now! Maybe that's because they aren't interesting enough?
I've seen them in my own neighborhood, after all. So I posed with the sign that tells me alligators are coming next year, to a new Wetlands Exhibit.
I did misbehave for a brief moment, for old time's sake.
Then I had a chance to get up close and personal with a gator in a giant photo. I suffered no injuries on my zoo adventure!