I bet you had no idea that Charmy was a talented musician!!! For you whimper snappers, Charmen Packy is playing a musical instrument known as the Street Organ. Back in the late 1800’s to early 1900;s, the street performers who played this instrument would be accompanied by a White-Headed Capuchin Monkey. Pearls Before Swine’s Stephan Pastis was supposed to take over his father’s Street Organ performance when he was a kid, but the fad went out of style when Stephan graduated high school in the early 1920’s.
After the demise of the Organ Grinders, America faced a HUGE crisis. Monkeys. In the mid-1920’s monkeys were everywhere. Organ Grinders everywhere gave up their art and laid off their monkeys. Monkeys could not find work. By 1930, The Great Depression saw monkeys on every street corner. A Bill was passed in 1933 that called for the round up of all monkeys. The bill was called The Big Monkey Act and called for all captured monkeys to be captured and shipped off to Brazil.
Monkeys sent to Brazil were all at first sent to containment camps were conditions were deplorable. Disease spread through the monkey troop. The entire group was looking at certain death until one man, Juan Valdez, stood up and demanded change. Juan gave refuge to the entire population and trained them to make coffee. He called them his Monkey Grinders. Teaching the monkeys to hand grind coffee beans was no easy task, but to this day Juan Valdez still uses monkeys to grind his coffee beans.