Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Steve Irwin

Bigger than life.

He really was.

That crazy guy from TV, the Aussie with the giant smile and the khaki shirt and shorts. Rob and I watched him from early on -- before he hit big. It was mesmerizing -- how can you NOT watch when the guy wrestles 10 foot crocodiles, wrangles deadly poisonous snakes, and coos lovingly to them while doing it? What kind of a guy calls a reptile a beauty? What kind of a guy talks to a bird and a camera at once, gets bitten in the face by the bird, and keeps talking to the camera?

Steve Irwin, that's who. What a guy. We loved his enthusiasm, his infectious laugh, his sheer goofiness when he talked about animals, habitat, conservation.

Our kids loved him -- we have his movie, watched the shows, celebrated when Bindi Sue and Bob were born ... just imagine the lives those kids will lead, following their mom and dad all over the globe ...

... and then we heard the news. How completely unreal it seemed. Steve? But he was invincible! He stared death in the face and laughed! He had such a powerful personality, how could he be done in by a ray? Seriously.

Say what you will about him being careless, about "getting what he deserved," but I disagree. He had no illusions about the danger he put himself in. He probably DID think he was invincible, but we all do that, at least a little, right? And the pure joy he felt in showing wild creatures to people, in educating people about habitat, in sharing his deep love and affection for all creatures, even the ugly, creepy, scary ones? Well, it was palpable. He connected with people. He made us laugh, he made us think, and in the end, he made me cry.

Because the world is a lesser place without him in it.

Deepest sympathy to Terri, Bindi Sue, Bob, and the entire Irwin/Australia Zoo family.



  1. Susan4:09 PM

    I never watched him because I just can't do the snake thing, but I appreciate anyone who works for conservation and brings understanding of the natural world to thousands of people.

    And while many people say "well, he died doing what he loved," I say that he would probably be prouder that his death was a message too about how wild things can truly be unpredictable and that we need to respect that wildness.

    A tragedy that he died so young.

  2. Michael so loved him. We both were sad when we learned that he had died. I also did a tribute to him. Thanks for posting yours.

  3. beautifully written, and so true. I loved him as well.

  4. I wasn't a fan--- but I NEVER would have said "he deserved it."

  5. I concur completely. He will be missed by my family as well.