I watched the Disney+ show tonight about Ivan. Such a great movie. Much to my surprise, at the end it was mentioned that he lived in a strip mall in Tacoma Washington for 27 years. I didn’t remember that his name was Ivan or that I actually saw him there numerous times when I was stationed at Fort Lewis, Washington until the mention of Tacoma at the end of the film. This was back in 1989 when I was there.
It hit me like a stone wall and I could not hold back the tears as I remember how much I felt sad for him in that glass enclosure in a place you would never expect to see such a majestic animal.
I was 19 back then and just now at 51, seeing this movie about Ivan, it brought back a profound surprise of memory to me. I remember seeing him painting. God bless Ivan.
by Eric Jirouch