All Aboard!

Cub Reporter Perry BearDear bear friends:

All aboard! In just a few days, Miss Cynthia, Dr. Steve and I leave for a trip to Europe. Thanks to computer technology and the Tri-City Herald, all my bear friends are invited to read along as Perry Tours Europe 1999.

Being a traveling teddy bear is a big responsibility. It is also a lot of fun. In the weeks to come, I will visit thirteen cities in eight European countries. As I travel from country to country, I will write stories about all my adventures.

There will be many things to see and do. We will travel on planes, trains and buses. We will brave cold winter weather. We will visit famous places. Through it all, I will be on the job. As Cub Reporter, I will use the Internet to share all my stories and adventures.

How did I come to be a traveling teddy bear? A few years ago, I was just an everyday teddy. I lived with my bear family on a bookcase in a sunny room. It was peaceful and quiet and happy. We talked and slept and told stories, just like any other bear.

One day, Miss Cynthia came into the sunny room. She asked for a volunteer, someone to be her companion on a long trip away from home. Marco waved his paw eagerly, but he was too small. Leif Bearickson said he would go, but Miss Cynthia explained that he was too large to fit in a suitcase. Rudy thought he might like to travel, but his joints were rather delicate. Bear by bear, everyone was too big or too small or too fragile except for me, Perry Bear. There was simply no one else to do the job!

At first, I was a little bit frightened. Dr. Steve and Miss Cynthia don’t travel alone; they take trips with an entire symphony orchestra.

Since 1993, Dr. Steve has served as Orchestra Physician to the San Francisco Symphony. When the orchestra travels outside the United States, Dr. Steve travels with them. Dr. Steve takes care of anyone who becomes sick so far from home. He helps make sure the musicians are well and healthy, so they can make beautiful music together.

There were so many musicians to get to know! Over 130 people travel when the San Francisco Symphony makes a concert tour.

Now that I have traveled on three Symphony tours, I am friends with everyone. It will be nice to see all my musician friends as we travel to Europe.

On tour, I use computer technology to share my travels with children around the world. About every other day, Miss Cynthia helps me write about my latest adventure. We laugh and laugh as we look at the photographs and talk about what we’ve seen and done. Soon we have finished writing our story. We select just the right photograph to send to all my bear friends.

When our story is ready, it’s time to turn to the computer! Miss Cynthia and I work closely with our laptop computer. He has a name: Baby Supercomputer.

Baby Supercomputer uses a modem to dial the telephone. He is such a smart computer! Baby calls a telephone number that connects us to the Internet. Shall I push the button? There goes our story!

It takes only a few seconds for our story and photo to travel from Europe to the computer server for the Tri-City Herald. Unlike little Baby Supercomputer, the Herald’s computer servers are very large and powerful. They live in a special room at the Tri-City Herald’s offices.

Soon my editor, Miss Sherry Emery, has received my story. She reads it very carefully. I try not to make mistakes in grammar and spelling, but sometimes they happen anyway. It’s an editor’s job to make sure the story is just right. Miss Sherry is a very good editor. She makes my stories look very good.

Miss Sherry formats my story and uploads it to the Herald’s computer server. Within just a few moments, all my bear friends can read my adventure on the World Wide Web. Sometimes my story appears on the Web just a few hours after it has happened!

Are you ready? Say "Bon Voyage!" and get ready as Perry Tours Europe, 1999.

Your bear friend,

Perry Bear Ewer

Perry's Travels: