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Rio Vista Dedicates Monument to Humphrey

February 1, 1986

RIO VISTA, Calif. (AP) _ Humphrey the wandering humpback whale may have wandered on his way but the memory lingers on in this Sacramento Delta town that he put on the map.

The whale spent six weeks last fall lost in the sloughs and backwaters of the delta near Rio Vista after he took a wrong left turn through the Golden Gate. But Humphrey eventually made a dramatic U-turn and swam 55 miles back to the Pacific Ocean and safety.

The town has unveiled a polished granite memorial, about 3 feet high, bearing an outline of a whale and the dates of Humphrey’s visit from Oct. 10 to Nov. 4. An ode to the whale written by 12-year-old Richard Fonbuena also is inscribed.

It says:

″He was famous across the nation

″Until they ended his vacation.″

″We were proud to have him for a while, and if he decides to come back this way, we’d be happy to see him again,″ Mayor Milton Wallace said Friday.

He said there have been other major events in Rio Vista, but nothing to rival the whale’s visit.

″But Humphrey was really something,″ he said. ″People from all over the world have heard about Rio Vista, and maybe they’ll come here.″

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