For as long as I can remember, family get-togethers on the Rathkamp side of my family have been gut-busting experiences. Every time we get together, somebody reminds me of the time one of the dogs crapped on my brand new white tennis shoes. My dad, Bill, and my Uncle Dave are both really funny guys on their own, but together it’s almost like being on the set with Abbott & Costello. Easters in our family are spent at my cousin Tim and his wife Gloria’s house. This past Easter Bill & Dave were in a story telling mood and held court for us.
I think the best story is the last audio clip, where they reminisce about their hooliganism at the Washington Park Zoo in Milwaukee. For a little background, Samson was a Lowland Gorilla who came to the Milwaukee Zoo, then in Washington Park, in 1950. Every kindergartener in Milwaukee from the 1950’s until 1981 when Samson died took field trips to the zoo. The only thing we wanted to see though was Samson. At his peak weight Samson tipped the scales at 652lbs. He was both feared and loved so hearing this story was akin to hearing that your dad and uncle once had a squirt gun fight with General George Patton.