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Jun 24

I just saw a poster for the King Tut Exhibit at The De Young Museum in San Francisco.   It reminded me of my trip to Egypt to create the book, “Journey Up the Nile”.   When I saw King Tut he was in glass case in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo.   I loved the Egyptian Museum.   It reminded me of one of the Indiana Jones movies.  It was old, dark and a bit dusty.   There were Egyptologists sitting next to open cases studying the artifacts.  No one seemed very excited that someone might break something.  I thought this was extraordinary and I loved it.  I just looked at some pictures of the Egyptian Museum and it looks like they cleaned the museum up, it looks brighter and newer.  I am sure this is better for the collection, but I feel lucky to have seen it old and dusty.  I loved Egypt so we have a Egyptian section in the store.  I am always looking for unusual things from or about Egypt.  We  have a tomb painted on the wall, a life size camel and a  sarcophagus.


My trip to Egypt is the book  “Journey Up The Nile”.  It is told from the perspective of Reginald.   It does seem a bit unusual to take a Teddy bear on a trip,  especially a 100 year old, very valuable Steiff Teddy Bear.   It turns out that a Teddy bear is a great way to make instant friends wherever you go.   The Egyptians loved him.   You can read all about this extraordinary trip in the book, “Journey Up the Nile”.


That’s me on the camel, a real camel.   You can see Reginald/Reggie  the Teddy hanging out of the Ghurka Backpack.  Even the camel was interested in seeing Reggie.

We always have interesting things from Egypt in our store inventory.


May 30

I just put several rainforest animals on the online shop.   I also put a Ghurka Backpack.  I found several in the back storage room.  These are hard to come by.  They  were made by Ghurka 10 years ago when the Ghurka Company was owned by Marley Hodgson.  Marley Hodgson sold the Ghurka Company in 2001.

I always take my Ghurka Backpack on my travels.  It is just the right size.  When I went to Africa to do the book, “Safari, My Trip to Africa” with Reggie the Steiff Bear, I took him in the Ghurka Backpack.  After I published the book, on a whim, I sent a copy to  Steiff, asking them if they wanted to make a replica of the Bear Reggie.   Much to my delight, they said yes.  Then I started  to worry about the Ghurka Backpack.  I wondered if I was going to get in trouble for using the backback in the book with the logo clearly visible.   I  had already gotten a letter from Ralph Lauren for using one of his cups on one of my greeting cards.

So,  I wrote  a letter to Ghurka and sent them a book.   Next thing I know Marley Hodgson arrives at Susan’s Store Room.   He loves the book and buys them for his employees.  I was thrilled to meet him. When Steiff produced the Reggie Bear, Ghurka sold backbacks to Steiff for their luxury edition of the Steiff Reggie.

If that wasn’t enough…..The Steiff Reggie Bear appeared in the window of the Ghurka Store on Post Street in downtown San Francisco.   One day I was walking down Post Street and looked in the Ghurka window and there was Reggie.

Ghurka also produced a limited edition scarf with illustrations from the Safari Book.  Mary Jo Koch, my good friend, did all the illustrations in all four books.  She worked with Ghurka to produce the Scarf.  It is fabulous but no longer available.