Palmer “Satch” Krantz began his career at Riverbanks Zoo and Garden in 1973. He has served as the zoo’s executive director since 1976, making him the longest-serving zoo director in the United States. Krantz also is one of only three American zoo directors that have served as president of both the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums. He has received numerous accolades throughout his career, most recently, the prestigious R. Merlin Perkins Award for Professional Excellence. A native of Columbia, Krantz is a graduate of Clemson University. He and his wife, Becky, are parents of two adult sons. This summer, Krantz is proudly welcoming new life into his zoo family with the opening of Riverbanks’ Grizzly Ridge and Otter Run exhibits.
SEE: We are blessed to live in such a vibrant city. There is something wonderful to see and do every day of the week, from our world-class museums to Lake Murray and the Congaree National Park. Pick a day, pick a place – you can’t go wrong.
LISTEN: We recently attended the Paul McCartney concert at the Colonial Life Arena. I had to wait 50 years, but I finally saw a Beatle live – right here in Columbia. The most inspirational place for music in the Midlands is Riverbanks Botanical Garden. Each Thursday night in May, we host Rhythm and Blooms. The concert series features a different artist week. It’s great music in a great setting.
PLAY: My wife and I moved downtown a couple of years ago, and we love going to the Soda City Market on Saturday mornings. We always see people we know, plus we enjoy sampling the great international foods. Then it’s on to the Zoo and Garden, where we enjoy taking in the all of the beautiful sights Riverbanks has to offer from animals and plants to historic ruins, natural woodlands and river views.
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DRINK: I’m not much into the local bar scene. Getting old will do that to you. I love wine, and I frequently purchase wines of all kind. My phone’s “List” app is one long list of wines that I’ve enjoyed at bars and restaurants around the city, state and nation.
EAT: I am a big fan of Motor Supply. The food, bar and wait staff are all exceptional. I really enjoy taking out-of-towners to all of Columbia’s best locally owned restaurants for dinner. Their reaction is always the same: “I didn’t know that Columbia was a foodie town.” Of course my favorite place for lunch is Tuskers. Riverbanks opened Tuskers in March of last year, and the food is fantastic. Not to mention, there’s no other place around where you can enjoy a nice meal while also enjoying views of giraffes, zebras and ostriches in the background.
Janet Kendall, Special to Go Columbia