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December 10, 2023



Joey and I had our first involvement with elephants in 2006 when Jason Friedman opened the Four Seasons Tented Camp in the Golden Triangle where Thailand, Laos and Myanmar come together.  Some forty years prior to then, I had spent considerable time in that neighborhood during the troubles in Southeast Asia.  Therefore, it was amazing to me that one could safely have an experience with nature and elephants without having to post armed guards around the camp. The Tented Camp became the destination for us whenever we went to that part of the world which was quite often.  Khun Tawesak or “Wee,” in between Joey and me, was our guide then and throughout our entire elephant experience since that time. 

The Elephant Story Blog

We learned to ride elephants and direct them with verbal Thai commands. If the heat became unbearable, the elephants would love to bathe in the water and are more than willing to share that opportunity with their riders.


The Elephant Story Blog

Fortunately our three daughters, shown below, Katie, Sara and Lisa also liked The Tented Camp which became a future gathering place for them as well.  Moreover, riding elephants ultimately led to many more family outings that evolved to a progression into the sport of elephant polo which will be covered in our next chapter.

The Elephant Story Blog

Our oldest grandson, Story, took to the elephants immediately and was old enough to become an accomplished player in 2011.  His baseball training was a natural enabling him to swing a long stick at a ball.

The Elephant Story Blog

Our oldest granddaughter Emily is shown below with her mother, Lisa, to the right and her aunt, Sara, to the left.  Lisa was no stranger to Thailand as she taught English in the Royal Chitralada Palace School in Bangkok following her college graduation. 

We were competing in the King’s Cup Elephant Polo tournament in 2014 at a proper Polo Club on the outskirts of Bangkok.  Sara Story Design created the elephant footprint wall coverings for our team booth which came complete with an air-conditioning unit. This King’s Cup tournament was a bit more upscale than what we had experienced in our initial Golden Triangle competitions. 

The Elephant Story Blog

Fourteen years ago, Sara’s son, Duke, was enchanted by the elephants and appreciated that no one was keeping count of the number of sodas he was consuming. For many years, Duke would only wear elephant polo shirts supplied by The Elephant Story.

The Elephant Story Blog

Lisa’s son, Ethan, may have taken some liberties with the score tally in 2013, but he was sure to emphasize that The Elephant Story did defeat the Four Seasons Team even though he was wearing a Four Seasons jersey.

The Elephant Story Blog

Rest assured that the Sara Story Design Team always had very well-designed polo shirts which inspired her team to perform well both on and off the pitch.  Sara’s son, Edward, is keeping a watchful eye as Sara’s team loads out during a 2103 tournament in Hua Hin, Thailand.

The Elephant Story Blog

In 2013, Sara’s daughter, Dagny, was pleased to hand out the tournament winner trophies to The Elephant Story team.  Joey was particularly happy that no one fell off their elephants.  Our spiritual leader in elephant polo and close friend, Jason Friedman, is to the right of me followed by Khun Seng and Khun Wee. Khun Wee and Khun Seng were the key contributors to our success in this sport.

The Elephant Story Blog

Therefore, over the course of the past 17 years, we have had an active involvement with the elephants in Thailand which led to the formation of The Elephant Story enterprise in 2012 to raise funds for elephant conservation and, more specifically, the elephants in Ban Ta Klang which became our home for the past years that we will discuss in the next chapter.

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A Purchase That Means More.

Our products are from Asian elephant countries offered to fund programs for the families and their 300 elephants in Baan Ta Klang, northeast Thailand. Your support enables us to provide two native English-speaking teachers in the village as well as underwrite a portion of the veterinary services for the elephants.

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