We often receive funny stories from friends of Yarnmarket. This one really made me laugh. It originated with a Colonel Preast:
During Operation Desert Storm, I was a legislative affairs officer for Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf. Often I was required to transport gifts, sent to him from patriotic Americans, from Washington, D.C., to his home base in Florida. On one trip I "escorted" a four-foot teddy bear dressed in fatigues with a name tag reading "Bear," General Schwarzkopf's nickname. As I boarded the plane, I explained my mission to the flight attendant and asked if she could store the bear in first class. She was honored to do so, and I disappeared into the coach section.
Then, just before takeoff, an announcement came over the intercom: "Colonel Preast, would you please come up to first class? We have an extra seat here for you to sit next to your teddy bear."
This story was passed along to us by Linda Willard, who also sent us this photo of Booker T. Bear, a relative of the bear in the story. Linda cares for Booker at Penn-Griffin School for the Arts in High Point, NC.
When I asked about his eye patch, she told me, "Several years ago some boys from the neighborhood broke into the school. They trashed the cafeteria and the media center where Booker spends most of his time. One of the guys thought that Booker would make a nice gift for his girl friend, so he Bear-napped Booker. The parents of the young lady saw the news report about the break in and Booker's bear-napping. They called the police and said that they thought they might have Booker. Booker was rescued and even got to ride back to school in a police car. He was very excited!"
Linda hopes that Booker and his "adventures" will be a children's book sometime this year. She says the bear-napping is the only adventure in the book that is real. What fun!