Memories of Ivan

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A collection of personal stories by those Ivan touched, in some way, during his life and especially his time at the B&I Circus store.

These stories are an important part of his legacy and provide a different perspective from Ivan's chronicles. Each submitted will be posted as received with only minimal editing. We hope you enjoy these stories as much as we do and we encourage you to send us your favorite memory of Ivan

My memory of Ivan

February 17, 2023

My memory of Ivan is when I was 8 years old. I loved Ivan so much. I watched the movie, I read the book, and I’m following his journey. And I just love Ivan as much as right now! by Sonia Davila

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Free by Charlie Puth

April 21, 2021

Via Instagram: Hi. I heard by chance, Free by Charlie Puth, and loved the song since the beginning! I then read from The One and Only Ivan…I looked for the video and I fell head over heels with Ivan! I am listening to the audiobook and searching, I found you (Earl) and Larry Johnston telling…

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As An Adult, I Have Followed His Journey

April 8, 2021

I grew up in Tacoma and as a little girl I remember going and seeing him at the B&I every weekend. As an adult, I have followed his journey and I am so happy he got to live out the rest of his days at the Atlanta Zoo.  I miss him and will forever have…

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I watched the Disney+ show tonight about Ivan

April 5, 2021

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…

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I was hired as a manager at B & I Circus Store in 1964

August 24, 2020

I was there to welcome Ivan and Burma when they arrived. They lived with the Johnson family who brought them to the store daily. They were amazing little guys. Burma got ill and didn’t survive after several months of degrading illness. The Johnson’s and I took the little guys on promotional trips to Seattle. One…

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What a Remarkable Beautiful Creature He Was

August 23, 2020

I’m 41 years old today, but when I was a little girl (age 8), I grew up in Tacoma and my mom worked at the B&I and sometimes she would bring me to work and I would see Ivan daily. He was so beautiful and so human-like. I had a really horrible childhood and I…

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