In the basement of the National Geographic Society we keep a couple of large carts containing old issues of magazines. The issues there are random discards and are often a mix of English versions of NGM with local language editions from countries all over the world. I found there recently the October 1978 issue and I gave it to Amanda because it commemorates the month and year of her birth (hint hint, her birthday is coming up).
The cover itself is a photograph by Koko — it is a self portrait. If you look closely you can see the text is reversed because of the mirror.
What was amazing about it was that Amanda remembered the cover and the story from her childhood. I didn’t have a clue about Koko so that must show what a great memory Amanda has and how interested she was in National Geographic magazine as a child. How can I ever keep up? :)
This October cover of National Geographic magazine won an award from the American Society of Magazine Editors for being one of the top 40 magazine covers in the last 40 years. Here is an excerpt from the explanation of the win:
#37 (tie) National Geographic (October 1978)
This cover of National Geographic magazine is entitled “Conversations with a Gorilla,” with Koko the gorilla snapping a photograph of her reflection in the mirror. The photo was of such high quality and significance that it was chosen to be the cover photo for the October 1978 National Geographic article featuring Koko.
Just because a gorilla made the cover of the magazine doesn’t mean you’re good enough yet to work for the Geographic. Koko seems to have a better handle on composition than a lot of people!