Meet Perry!

From the Tri-City Herald, Kennewick, WA

October 13, 1997

The Tri-Cities' most famous teddy bear, Perry Bear Ewer, is traveling with the San Francisco Symphony in Japan and China. We reached him in his hotel room in Tokyo for an interview:

Little Herald: Perry, how old are you?

Perry: I'm five years old. My birthday is on December 25. I'll be six. That's old in bear years.

LH: What kind of bear are you?

Perry: I'm a polar bear. My fur is white and I have black eyes. I used to have a black nose, but now it's gray. All the skin came off my nose during a bath in the washing machine. Ouch!

LH: Are you a toy bear or a teddy bear?

Perry: Oh, I'm a teddy bear. Just an ordinary teddy bear, the kind children play with. Some of the bears in my bear family are collector bears. They are very elegant and expensive, but you can't play with them. I'm glad I was made to be played with, not just to be looked at.

LH: You have a bear family?

Perry: Yes, a bear family and a human family, too. Our bear family is quite large. There are seventeen of us! We have lots of fun together. Miss Cynthia is the person who takes care of us. Then there is Doctor Steve--but he's not always so nice to bears. They are our human family.

LH: How did you become a traveling teddy bear?

Perry: Someone had to do it! When Miss Cynthia travels, she needs a companion. All the other bears were too large or too small or too delicate to travel. I was the only bear for the job. I was a little bit frightened at first, but I've learned to be a good traveler.

LH: What do you like about being a traveling teddy bear?

Perry: I make friends! Lots and lots of friends. It's fun to make friends with children all over the world. Many Symphony musicians are my friends. I see them when we travel together.

LH: Is there anything you dislike about traveling?

Perry: Sometimes, Doctor Steve teases me. One day he pinched my paw in a coat hanger from the closet. "Perry's in a bear trap!", he said. Miss Cynthia had to rescue me.

LH: Anything else?

Perry: Like all bears, I don't like to have a bath in the washing machine. All that nasty detergent, and so much water spinning around! It makes me dizzy to think about it. Unfortunately, traveling means I must have a bath in the washing machine quite often. My white fur gets dirty very quickly.

LH: Do teddy bears have any special qualities?

Perry: Oh, yes. We bears have a good sense of smell and hearing. I can smell food from far away. Bears enjoy listening to music, bees humming--any good sound. I like the sound of all the instruments in the orchestra, especially when they play together to make beautiful music.

LH: Do you play a musical instrument?

Perry: I would like to play the viola. It's a stringed instrument a little bit bigger than a violin. The viola has a very bear-like sound, and viola players are a lot like teddy bears! I don't play an instrument, though. My paws are too small!

LH: Is there anything you miss while in Japan?

Perry: Yes! All my special friends in the Tri-Cities! I will see everyone soon, and we will talk about my adventures.