The Pet Shop Monkeys
Silky and Sammy were famous, at least in Waukegan. They even appeared in a 1975 article in the Waukegan NEWS-SUN. Some of my Aunt Vera’s favorite stories are about the monkeys she kept and sold in her pet shop in Waukegan. Recently one of my readers gave me a nice gift. He shared some pictures and newspaper clippings that are a piece of the history of The Pet Shop. The article images are included in this post, along with an earlier picture of my Aunt Vera with her much-loved Great Dane, Tish.
The Run of the Pet Shop
I was surprised to see that Silky and Sammy were allowed to have “the run of the shop.” That was, of course, until the monkey couple had a new-born. Then it was necessary for them to have a quiet spot where only Vera and Bill could go. While Sammy and Silky were generally “tame little lambs” without a child, they are like most parents and they guarded their offspring with a more aggressive growl as reported in the news article.
Aside from humans, the macaques are the most widespread primate, ranging from Japan to the Indian subcontinent, to North Africa and Southern Europe. Twenty-three macaque species are currently recognized. Macaques are robust primates whose arms and legs are about the same in length. The fur of these animals is typically varying shades of brown or black. I suspect that I saw some of this type of monkey when I was in India during two visits in 2018 and 2019. I learned very quickly that monkeys could attack quickly and unexpectedly during my first visit. Thereafter, I was much more cautious, and depended on the locals to keep me safe.
About the Waukegan NEWS-SUN
The paper started out life as the Independent and, later, the Lake County Independent based in Libertyville in 1892. By 1921 the paper was known as the Waukegan Daily News and in 1930 it purchased the Waukegan Daily Sun (founded 1897) and merged the two papers to become the Waukegan News-Sun, a name it would operate under until 1971. In 1971 “Waukegan” was dropped from the masthead and the hyphen was removed in 1997 to bring the name to its current iteration of News Sun. However, many readers and residents still refer to it as the Waukegan News-Sun to this day.
Wikipedia LINK: Waukegan News-Sun