The Original Gerber Baby Met the New Gerber Baby in Cutest Photo Ever: They 'Immediately Bonded'
"Lucas walked right up to her, flashing his signature smile and waving, and we could tell he loved her right away," Jason and Cortney Warren tell PEOPLE
It was a picture nine decades in the making, as the original Gerber baby posed with the newest Gerber baby for an adorable photograph that has now gone viral.
Back in February — after a photo contest that featured almost 140,000 babies — Gerber chose then 18-month-old Lucas Warren, who has Down syndrome, as its next “spokesbaby,” making him the first Gerber baby in its 91-year history with the condition. And now that Lucas is a few months into his fancy new role, he and his parents, Jason and Cortney Warren, paid a visit to meet the very first Gerber baby, 91-year-old Ann Turner Cook.
Long before she was a teacher and an author, Cook became the face of Gerber after her family submitted a drawing of her for a company contest in 1928. The charcoal picture would later become Gerber’s official trademark a few years later, and her face can still be seen on their products to this day.
When Lucas finally met Cook in her home in Tampa, Florida, on June 2, the two took no time becoming good friends, the family says.
“As soon as we walked into the room, she and Lucas immediately bonded,” Jason and Cortney say in a statement to PEOPLE. “Lucas walked right up to her, flashing his signature smile and waving, and we could tell he loved her right away.”
Cook’s grandson, Chris Colin, 42, posted a picture of Cook holding Lucas on her lap to his Twitter account, and it quickly went viral — garnering some 68,000 likes and 8,000 shares on Twitter — thanks to its adorableness.
“She just loves babies,” Colin, from San Franciso, tells PEOPLE. “She thinks of herself as sort of the face of babies. And because of this funny thing that happened, she gets to meet all these really wonderfully cute little babies in life.”
Lucas felt so comfortable with Cook that he even offered her one of his tasty treats.
“He even grabbed two cookies and offered her one, which she accepted,” the Warrens say. “Ann Turner Cook is truly a wonderful woman and pleasure to be around, and we couldn’t be more grateful that she took the time to meet with our family.”
Cook, who is a great-grandmother to six great-grandchildren, has written a number of mystery novels throughout her career, including Shadow Over Cedar Key and Trace Their Shadows. She wasn’t revealed as the original Gerber baby until 1978.
- Want to keep up with the latest from PEOPLE? Sign up for our daily newsletter to get our best stories of the day delivered straight to your inbox.
Colin says he and his family will often find knick-knacks that Cook has saved from her time as a Gerber baby, something she still takes pride in til this day.
“My grandmother has always said that there’s something about the Gerber baby that cuts across all kinds of people,” he says. “We all feel so divided sometimes, but the positive response that came from all kinds of people… that is one of the things that’s touching for me.”