Hotel Utah, Uncle Roscoe, Hogle Zoo and Shasta the Liger! Happy Birthday!
Growing up we did not get a yearly birthday party. We would have a birthday party one year and a family activity the next. One of our family activities for my birthday celebration really stands out in my mind! I chose to go to Hogle Zoo in Salt Lake City and have restaurant dinner. Getting either one would have been more than I expected so imagine my surprise when I got both. In those days (early 1960’s) a trip to Salt Lake City from Price, Utah took 3 hours. There was no I-15 just Utah highway 89. You had to drive up Price Canyon, a treacherous windy 2 lane mountain road. Then down Spanish Fork Canyon, which was more of the same windy mountain road except downhill. Then you went through every small town driving right down main street on your way to Salt Lake City; Mapleton, Springville, Provo, Orem, Pleasant Grove, American Fork, Lehi, the point of the mountain, Draper, Sandy, Murray and finally State Street Salt Lake City.
The biggest attraction at Hogle Zoo was Shasta. Shasta was a liger; half lion and half tiger. No one every went to the zoo without seeing Shasta!
After visiting the zoo we ate at the Hotel Utah coffee shop.
The big attraction at the coffee shop was Uncle Roscoe. Uncle Roscoe would entertain children of dining guests by drawing cartoon sketches for them! He wasn’t always there, it was just luck whether he would be there on any given day. And then it took a double stroke of luck if he came to your table and did a sketch on your menu. I was thrilled beyond words when Uncle Roscoe visited our table and personally signed and decorated my menu!!! I am sure I just sat there wide-eyed and smiling…
Hotel Utah Children’s menu 1960’s
It was one of my more memorable birthdays!