Monday, July 01, 2019



Roger Smith said...

I never got there. Must be one of the few who didn't.

Chic Silber said...

Me too didn't pal

But I did visit Chico's Monkey Farm

many times traveling North & South

before they built I-95

Wade G. Burck said...


I had never been out of North Dakota until the day a 4 prop plane delivered me to the "jungle bush camp" known as Naples Airport. I thought I had landed on the moon! But I was truly awed when I arrived at Caribbean Gardens, a stunning jungle paradise full of orchids, royal palms and other exotic foliage surrounded by lakes and ponds and interspersed with animal exhibits . My understanding is it was originally built as a botanical gardens by Julius Fleshmann of Fleshmann Margarine fame. Years later JL was able to rent it long term as a winter home for his operation at Cedar Point, Ohio. I sometimes get upset when it is called a "road side zoo" because in my mind it was anything but. 100% class, no clowns handing out balloons, no enchanted castles for animal housing, no petting zoo with little red riding hood and the 3 pigs, etc. The only bit of gaudiness was the zebra striped jeeps ala Daktari which pulled the tour wagons. Everyone who worked there lived on the grounds of the safari and my first night when I was awoke by roaring lions, peacocks walking on the roof calling, and a troop of squirrel monkeys who had escaped year's earlier cavorting on the porch, I thought I had found paradise. The best was is the evening when the safari was closed and you could walk around and enjoy the beauty, the solitude and quite interacting with the animal's as you made your way around the trails. A cherished part of my life I will always hold dear.

Then one day I made a fateful decision to go to Venice to see the red show opening of GSOE. I had no idea what a circus was nor had I ever seen one. They were not a big deal in North Dakota. That is when I saw GGW for the first time and was blown away with his animal performance. I decided at that moment that this is what I wanted to do with my life. I left the safari 6 months later and hired on with Clyde Bros. Circus and Lou Regan in Fargo, N.D. Roy Wells left the safari a year or two later and hired on with Gee Gee Engesser and her elephants.

Wade Burck

Tony Greiner said...

Good story Wade. Thanks for typing it up.

Chic Silber said...

What year was it that you

1st visited the Venice WQ

to see the Red Show open

(AKA Circus Williams)

GaryHill said...

Great Story Wade...