Trinity University Press

Jane Goodall-Rob Laidlaw

Squished in the Middle

Rob Laidlaw

    I first met her at the Toronto Pearson International Airport. The year was 1991, and I had booked her for a lecture at a university hall in downtown Toronto. As I walked into the arrivals area of the terminal, I saw a large pyramid of luggage. Two people standing next to the great pile were dwarfed by it. As I approached, I could see that they was Dr. Goodall and a JGI staff member.

    After struggling to get the mountain of luggage (which turned out to be mostly educational materials) into the parking area, I had no idea how I’d fit it all into my car. And yet, after considerable reorganizing, pushing, pulling, and wishful thinking, it fit. Just barely. But we had a problem. There were only two seats available, one for the driver and one for a passenger, and there were three of us.

    After standing around for a while, looking at the packed car with two only seats, Dr. Goodall said she was the smallest, so she’d just squish in the middle. With three of us crammed into two seats (not something I recommend), we drove downtown. No complaints. No airs. I knew then that I’d get along well with Dr. Goodall.

    Rob Laidlaw is the Executive Director of Zoocheck. He has conducted successful wildlife protection campaigns throughout Canada and around the world and is an award-winning author of children's books on animal issues.