Friday, February 27, 2009

The Amazon/Parasite and Spider Guy got back in touch w/ me!

Hi All!

If you've read the book, you must remember the guy at Caltech who had all those parasites in him because of his work in the Amazon. And you probably remember the guy who had so many spiders that his office was full of petri dishes w/ spiders living in them and his house was overgrown with spider webs outside and had petri dishes w/ spiders in them all over the inside of the house. Well, there were TWO such spider guys, actually, so I wrote about them separately, but the Amazon guy was ALSO a spider guy, if you follow. He studied both monkeys AND jumping spiders.

Anyway, he DID get married and his wife wrote to me and we're all back in touch now! How fun is that? She says that when she first met him, she was instructed that when she went up the walkway to the door of his house, she was to keep her arms close to her body and stay in the middle of the path so as not to disturb the spiders' webs! And then, once inside, she observed all these petri dishes full of spiders on the counters, tables, shelves. But she was not put off and they are happily married.

We are planning to get together soon, along with a primatologist who I knew back then. This is SOME ADVENTURE!

And, in answer to a question from one of you, there were guys who loved Wesley. Guy Ritter absolutely adored Wesley and was very patient with him and spent a lot of time w/ him, to the point where Wesley trusted him more than he had ever trusted a man. Guy has a way with animals and always has. He would have been very happy to have Wesley as a "son", but it didn't work out for us. He is happily married w/ kids and we still keep in touch though! I even went to his wedding!

Stacey O'Brien
@Wesley the Owl, Inc.


Deb said...

Dear Stacey.

I don't know if this is the right place to put a comment about your book but I hope it's okay.

I just wanted to say that I absolutely adored every minute of your book. I have fallen in love with Wesley and have gained such a new respect for owls due to your book.

I have even found myself talking about owl facts that I learned from your book; be it in the car, at dinner or at work. It is funny because people will look at me like I am a little nuts-I am in real estate, so owls are not a typical subject :)

Anyways, I just wanted to say that I cannot thank you enough for sharing so much about your love, commitment and life together with Wesley.

Take care.

Deborah Meneses

Mono Girl said...

Hi Stacey,

I live in the Eastern Sierra north of Mono Lake, California and our book group chose your book as our March selection. We all live here because of our connection to nature and especially birds so it was a natural for us. I really enjoyed reading about your life with Wesley and was touched by your struggle with your illness. I was diagnosed 21 yrs ago with leukemia as a 31 year-old and know what it is like to have your life snatched out from under you and the slow journey to reclaim it.

Lastly, I'm wondering if you have the energy to do public speaking. My husband is a ranger at Mono Lake and helps to organize our annual Mono Basin Bird Chautuaqua. He tries to find speakers who have a real connection with birds and nature. It is a wonderful festival that besides bird events includes art, natural history and music. Would you ever be interested in speaking at this kind of event? It is always the third weekend in June. They pay speaker expenses and a stipend. It is non-profit and raises money for bird research. The event is small and usually attracts around 250 people for the weekend. We've had lot of wonderful speakers including Kenn Kaufman who did a talk about writing Kingbird Highway. It is a really low stress and supportive atmosphere. Most of our presenters want to come back. The website is My email is

Thanks again for your book and know that a bunch of wonderful women (and one guy) will be sitting around sipping wine and talking about your book on Tuesday evening with a view of the Sierra and Mono Lake out the window.
Connie Henderson

Jodie said...


I just finished Wesley the Owl last night and I just wanted to thank you for sharing your bittersweet story with the world. I was in tears when Wesley opened his wings and gave you an owl hug. It seemed like the perfect thing at the perfect time.

I also connected with your guilt and grief after Wesley went on to the next big adventure. I've no doubt your grandmother is taking care of him for you! We lost our ten year old chocolate late on New Year's Day and I went through every thought that you put down. Reading about Wesley helped me heal. So thank you for that as well.

I hope you are feeling better. I'm sending you owly thoughts of strength and peace.


leo said...

Dear Stacey,

I just finished reading Wesley last night and had so many tears at his passing though I knew that would be the end of the story. What a special privilege it was for you to raise him and be his best friend for life. I volunteer at a rehab center in Glen Ellyn, IL and we have many owls. Two are barn owls and I clean their cages and feed them when working. I have been fearful of the barn owls because the female sort of attacked me once. She flew at me but did not touch. Needless to say it did startled me. Of course she had babies in the owl box which was why she was nervous. But after reading about Wesley I will never look at my barn owls the same again. I feel I've gained a little understanding of them. Thank you for a beautiful story.

Judy Merrick

Kara Roberts said...

Hi Stacey! I think it's great that you and the "Spider Guy" have gotten back in touch with each other, it's amazing the different impacts your book has had on your own life and others' (including mine.)

Speaking of getting in touch with people...I was wondering if there is any way I could contact you personally, either by e-mail or phone? (I have combed the Internet and can't seem to find another way to get in touch besides this blog.) I am studying Environmental Education at Nova Southeastern University and am amidst my final latest assignment is to interview a person of recent inspiration...and you are IT for me! =)

I would really appreciate the opportunity to ask you a few questions. Please let me know what you think. Thanks!