Monday, October 25, 2010

Older Animals Can be Active Too!

Remember Cheeta, co-star of those old Tarzan movies? Perhaps you've wondered whatever happeneed to him.

Thanks to a fellow Clare resident who has a second home in Palm Springs, CA, I have found out the answer to a question I didn't even know I had. Cheeta is alive and well, doing abstract paintings in Palm Springs.

Last August, the Clare book club held a Tarzan day. The club discussed Cheeta, a best-selling Hollywood expose purportedly written by the chimpanzee who starred in the Tarzan movies, based on Edgar Rice Burroughs' 25 Tarzan Adventures. After discussing the book, the group had a luncheon of Cheeta favorites, includng Bananas Foster, served by The Clare's Dining Room Manager. While the more "snooty" among you, and among Clare residents as well, may dismess all this as silly, when I found out about it (after the fact), I thought is was a refreshing story. We "art lovers" sometimes forget that art can be fun, too.

Cheeta, perhaps the oldest living primate in captivity, now lives near downtown Palm Springs, cared for by retired singer/dancer Dan Westfall, who inherited Cheeta from his uncle. Cheeta has hius own walk of fame star, enjoys three regular meals a day, and receives two insulin injections daily for his diabetes. Doesn't this remind you of the state of some older human beings as well?

Like us humans, Cheeta is keeping busy in old age. His abstract paintings have sold for as much as $10,000 each (for charity). Great art? Who cares? I think it's an interesting story, further evidence of Jane Goodall's contention that chimpanzees are closely related to us.

The photo above shows Cheeta with his two pantings purchased for The Clare (at much less than $10,000). They may eventually be displayed in a public area, or in the apartment of an animal lover who fell in love with them. To those who scoff, I say, "Loosen up!"

1 comment:

June Calender said...

So it's true, old chimps never die, or if they eventually do, their paintings live on to tell us they didn't need Tarzan for inspiration.