During the 1940s an unusual mascot of sorts called the Home Coming grounds home. Jeepers the Kangaroo was obtained by Staff Sergeant Lester C. Couch while stationed in Australia during WWII. He was sent to Elkin, NC to be a pet for his younger brother Coney. Later, Jeepers would be moved to the NC Zoo to live out his years. The tale of Jeepers the Kangaroo is just one chapter in the grand history of the Couch family and the Rock House, later renamed Home Coming.
ELKIN SOLDIER GETS KANGAROO IN AUSTRALIA
From a Winston-Salem Journal article dated 1942.
Staff Sgt. L.C Couch (pictured)
A Northwest North Carolina soldier is receiving nation-wide publicity this week. He is Staff Sergeant Lester C. Couch, son of Dr. and Mrs. L. C. Couch of Elkin, and nephew of Dr. V. F. Couch of Winston-Salem, who is pictured in the "In the animal Corner" of the widely circulated New York Sunday News. Staff Sergeant Couch is holding a small Kangaroo and the caption below the picture says "An armful. That's what this kangaroo makes from Staff Sergeant Lester C. Couch, of the ferry command, who brought the animal from Australia as a pet for his brother Coney, 13, at Elkin, N.C. Creature kicked up a fuss by escaping in San Francisco, but Couch recaptured it." Staff Sergeant Counch joined the army air corps in July 1940, with the ferry command. He was formerly stationed at Hamilton Field, Calif. Before going to California, he was in training at Bolling Field, Wachington, D.D., and the New England Aircraft School in Boson, Mass.