I still recall watching Steve Irwin in a South Park episode when I lived in Sydney, Australia. Of course, I didn't know the character was Steve Irwin at the time; it would take many, many miles and a relocation to the USA before I learned the facts. With the excessive amount of programs on cable in this country you would think that maybe we could have missed seeing the Croc man - but that's wasn't the case. I saw Steve while channel surfing one day. I was actually trying to find something decent to watch on day time television and all I could come up with was the Crocodile Hunter! That is until I stumbled onto Court TV with Nancy Grace (before she hit the big time with her own show) but that is another post altogether.
I initially though the Croc man was a freak! Well, you have to admit that it takes a freak to mess around with a crocodile that could easily devour him. So I didn't really get too attached to the Croc Hunter but Joel sure did. It seemed that every time I turned around Joel was sitting watching Steve exhibit courage - or lunacy - with another wild animal. In the end I really had to put my foot down and tell Joel that I am not watching another Steve Irwin show.
But then something changed.
In time the man started to grow on me, and it wasn't because of the dreadful accent - it was his love for animals. This man adored animals, and not only that but he made it his mission to show the world just how important it is to protect them and preserve their habitat. I must also admit that it was also refreshing to see a fellow aussie in action - just being himself.
Well, it has been just over a week since we heard the news that our Aussie mate is now gone. I cannot express the sadness I felt when I heard the news. Maybe it is because he was such an Australian icon here in the US, or maybe the fact that he was only 44yrs old and had his whole life ahead of him. I think it is all of these things, and the fact that his absence will leave a deep void with his wife, his children and the numerous fans who loved him.
RIP Steve Irwin