gomezGomez was a super alpha male, cinnamon capuchin monkey. Hurdy Gurdy bought him for $50 in 1971. Before this, Gomez had been in a fight with another monkey, and had suffered a hernia injury. A man in Santa Barbara had stepped forward to save Gomez, when the injured monkey was about to be put to sleep. This man paid for Gomez’s surgery, and took him on as a pet. However, Gomez did his best to terrorize the man’s wife, and generally disrupt everything in the poor man’s household. When Mr. Gurdy took Gomez off their hands, the man’s wife came out in her morning bathrobe to see the “horrid little beast” go.

hurdy-gurdy-06Gomez was endowed with extraordinary strength and aggressiveness. It was necessary to have most of his devastating teeth removed, though this surgery barely slowed him down. He was so full of spirit, that he could pull a 250 pound weightlifter off his feet, by grabbing hold of just one finger. His sheer strength, aggressiveness, and spirit, made Gomez the funniest monkey in the world. He would smash trash cans against metal railings, making such a racket, that Wharf authorities had to replace the metal trash cans with rubber ones. Though he took great pleasure in getting mad whenever he could, Gomez really loved people. He would hop into cribs, and sit right on little babies. The babies hardly ever cried, and parents were remarkably tolerant of the big simian sitting right on their child. Eventually, this trick was banned by the California State Department of Parks and Recreation, for obvious liability concerns. But Gomez went right on–sitting on people’s heads, shoulders, and laps. He was such a loving and loyal animal. He couldn’t quite figure out what people laughing themselves to death was all about, but he liked it just the same. His most famous tricks were bowing, lifting up women’s skirts, and going “undercover” by putting his head under pant legs. He also liked ripping off kid’s cotton candy, just like Jimmy, and all the rest of the monkeys that were to come.

monkeymodels-10Gomez goes “undercover.” About 1974.


monkeymodels-02Gomez wonders about his new hat.


monkeymodels-05Gomez isn’t sure if it’s a quarter or a penny.