Gordy and the sloth - a story for the ages: Giant fossil named for Ilwaco grad who found it
Last updated 3/23/2022 at 10:38am
SEATTLE - Gordon "Gordy" Simmons has achieved an honor few can match.
The Skamokawa resident has had a fossil named for him.
"Gordy" is the name bestowed by the Burke Museum in Seattle on the skeleton of an extinct giant ground sloth.
Simmons discovered the remains of the beast in 1961 while working on expansion of the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.
And 60 years later, he never tires of telling the story.
He and his crew were trying to cement in a fourth light tower on the new runway when they encountered an obstruction. "We couldn't get the tower in and out popped a bone," he said. "I thought at first it was a cow bone, but it would have had to be a pretty big cow!"
He knew immediately it was unusual. "Better call the university - we've got a dinosaur down here!" he told his crew. "The guys were mad at me because we lost three days' work! We thought it was a bison, then saw the claw."
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