By Paula @ Holiday World

Kevin emailed us with this darling story earlier this week:

Earlier this evening my 18-month-old grandson and I were looking at the computer.

I opened the Holiblog page, and Owen pointed and recognized the picture of "Ha-d-dawg" and "Sorry Sam" (we will work on the "f" sound before next summer's trip).

He then pointed to the character on the left and asked, "Who dat?"

(Here's a photo of the little cutie.)

When Papaw couldn't remember, he asked again, and again, and again.

I am pretty good with my facts and stats on the park and love to annoy my family and friends with park trivia every time we visit, but for the life of me, I cannot remember the name of that big eagle. Can you please help so that Ha-d-dawg and Sorry Sam's friend will have a name the next time we visit the site?

Ah, Kevin. There's a story to this.

The eagle joined the Holiday World lineup long enough ago that Will's wife, Lori, was still our Director of Entertainment (she "retired" in 2000). So it was during the prior century…

Anyway, for some reason, the poor bird was not named.

If memory serves, this lasted for several years. Drove me nuts. (Have you seen the Jimmy Stewart movie Shenandoah? The mother dies in childbirth and the son is forever after called "Boy." Ruins the entire flick for me.)

Everyone needs a name. And not some generic "the eagle" moniker.

I brought up the concern at several meetings: "Um, what's the eagle's name?"

Some smart aleck always piped up, "The eagle." Everyone had a good chuckle and then we moved on to more pressing matters.

Well, one time, Will shrugged in reply and then challenged me to come up with a list of suggestions.

So I did. (He is my boss, after all…)

My favorite was a reflection of my Irish heritage: Bill O'Rights.

But a far simpler nod to the Father of Our Country was chosen instead: George.

And so, dear Owen, now you know.

George, Holidog and Safari Sam
Come to think of it, a fellow named George was also the Father of Our Company. The original parent company of Santa Claus Land was George Koch Sons (our founder, Louis J. Koch, was one of George Koch's sons). So George the Eagle may have done without a name for a few years, but he ended up carrying the proud name of two great men: George Washington and George Koch.

"Sorry Sam." Gosh, that's cute.

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