I went to the zoo with several girlfriends last week. Weather was chilly so the giraffes were still in their barn. Reminded me of the great giraffe barn at Great Adventure. First time I visited was with Bob, Frank Thompson and others. We were anxious to meet the new baby born the day before. The behind the scenes barn had a wonderful ramp around the top where employees could walk and look the adult giraffes in the eye. My time in the animal parks were the best when meeting the newborns, but a baby giraffe is really special.
Someone asked one of the keepers the baby’s name. Raffi. I watched Frank turn to Bob for his reaction, but there was none. Frank asked how they picked the name. Some kid who cleaned the barn named her. Frank knew but always had to add fuel to the fire.
Bob with his 8,000 reference books and his research gene always on would have found a name with a history befitting this incredible newborn.
It’s the supposedly little details like a giraffe’s name that made Bob the true designer/manager and mostly Showman. A quote from Victor Donovan, “Millions of people who visited amusement parks will never know Bob Minick created their wonderful memories”. But we do.