With Mother Nature going into overdrive with a mega lightning show overhead, Zoo-To-Do organizers Shelly and Tom Codd must have paid dearly or had some incredibly embarrassing photos of the old Mother. Like a blockbuster movie production, the lightning shot flashes of light behind cauliflower-like clouds. Pretty impressive, but Patrick was ho-hum about Zoo To Do‘s “Go Big or Go Home.”
As more than 650 guests checked out the silent auction and checked out the Gorilla Trail, Patrick the 21-year-old lowland gorilla gazed at his distant cousins chumming it on the other side of the fence. Hal Brierley had his own version of “Where’s Waldo” searching for wife Diane. By the end of the evening, everyone was advising Diane, “Hal’s looking for you.” In the meantime, Hal was bidding on auction items. . . Tiffany Divis with daughter
Monet Ball in from Chicago. Tiffany’s husband, Paul was out of town on business . . Mary McDermott was with Anne Brown, who is the director of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation. . . . Jennifer Houser was continuing to get birthday congratulations after her swel-lebration at the Tower Club . . . Lynn McBee in Las Vegas safari chic was warming up for Friday, November 16. She’s starting the day with the breakfast for The Bridge and that night part of the crew putting on The Art of Film featuring Val Kilmer at the Hall of State. . .Suzanne Palmlund in zebra hat and husband David weren’t able to stay deep into the night.
According to David, “I’ve got 35 houseguests at home and they’re probably drinking all the good Scotch.”. . . Leslie and Bryan Diers were in the silent auction area with Sara and David Martineau.
Ah, but none of this impressed old Patrick as he headed to his man cave for the night. On the other hand, Rosie the great horned owl and Bindi the 4-year-old alligator were enjoying all the attention
the High Rollers types were giving them in the Gorilla Research Center. Sure, Rosie had saucer-size eyes and could twist her head 270 degrees (not 360 like legend says) to take
everything in, especially Bindi. Rosie’s human companion Melakeh McDonald confided the globe-shaped eyes took up the majority of her noggin. Alas, another owl legend shot down. They’re not as wise as tales tell.
Debi, on the other hand, who was “the explainer” for African penguins Tiger and Tonka, proudly explained that despite the girls being not the fastest things on earth. . . . well, they could put Michael Phelps to shame in the water. She went on to reveal that the penguins wore different colored wing bands. Otherwise, it would be a real drag trying to tell all the black-and-white birds apart.
On the non-speedy front, Lola the two-toed sloth was next to the check-in hanging from a branch. Seems they spend their entire life upside down. With nails that would send the most experienced manicurist into apoplexy, she gripped and sorta grinned her way for guests and their smartphones.
Over at the Giants of the Savannah, the giraffes were the real panhandlers of the menagerie. Looking like models on a catwalk, they ambled around the territory and when a guest waved a piece of greenery from the Giraffe Feeding Station at them they flocked like seagulls outside a Galveston pier restaurant. Luckily, zoo staffers were on hand to provide more greenery for guests to tempt the giraffes.
As the guests headed for dinner, Neiman’s Matthew Simon, who had just joined the zoo board, explained why the giraffes were going in a different direction that from afar seemed to be a wall. He explained that it was a gateway with drawbridge that would allow the giraffes to head home for the night.
And while Patrick, the giraffes and the rest of the critters were putting on their jammies and calling it a day, the two-legged human critters were putting on their feedbags thanks to Jim Severson, Dan Landsberg and 29 restaurants filling tents throughout the Grill courtyard.
Richard Chamberlain had a wok the size of Rhode Island simmering with tenderloin of beef braised with wild mushrooms after having the beef marinated for two days with extra-virgin olive oil.
Across the way, Rough Creek’s Gerard Thompson was in town cooking up a storm as a favor for Sevvy and Richard. He rarely gets into Dallas since Rough Creek is bustling with weddings, holidays and activity. But it’s been a change from the old days when it was largely business types and adults. With the family-friendly activities like horseback riding, rock-wall climbing, zip lines and a float river, he’s never surprised when one guest will order foie gras, and another a grilled cheese sandwich!
Unfortunately, Gerard reported that his Porsche had had a run-in with a deer. Results? Porsche was totaled, but the deer sauntered off. He didn’t get the deer’s license plate.