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Missing local bears cold case revisited

Missing local bears cold case revisited
A large bear can be seen at the top of the sign for the Golden Bear Lodge located in front of what is now Tips Roadside in Kenwood.Source: Steve Schukler

By Paul Goguen

I ’ve been hearing a lot about bears lately. Bears like “Hank the Tank,” who weighs over 500 pounds and enjoys breaking into houses in South Lake Tahoe to root through your stuff with intent to destroy and/ or eat it.

Then there is an unnamed local bear who weighs over 15 tons and has generated some interesting mail here at the Kenwood Press. I wrote a little article about the bear and how I thought it was cool for reasons people who hate it think are stupid. The first letter that we received was basically a one-star review with a comment section of disparaging adjectives. That generated some more favorable bear mail in response. That, in turn, has led us to the story about a completely different bear (or bears) that resided in nearly the same spot over 40 years ago.

What other bear stories could I be missing? Letters and photos connected by yarn and conspiracy theories on my basement whiteboard piece it all together in my head. Then (cue dramatic music), Linda Davis of Kenwood sends us this face-melter: “In response to Sandi Augustine’s letter, I remember the golden bear statues well. One was perched on a pedestal at the Golden Bear Club, currently Tips Roadside. The club was a gas station/bar. I believe the other bear was at the Golden Bear Lodge. These bears were stolen many years ago by local residents who have since died. I discovered them in a garage in Troy, Montana, in 2012. They were originally owned by Mr. Henry Schukler, who just recently passed away. He offered a reward for their return but the owner, who lives in Sonoma, refused to relinquish them. I think they would look wonderful put back on pedestals in front of the Kenwood Depot.”

It is going to take a big roll of yarn to make it to Montana.

Send your bear or non-bear related letters to: [email protected]