Saturday, April 29, 2006

The Brooklyn Eaglet

This was the name of our “family newspaper” when I was a kid. I remember there was initially a contest to name the paper, confidently published by my older sister and me on our two typewriters with copious amounts of carbon paper. The second-place finisher was “The Clinton Hill-Eaglet” as I recall, but that was difficult to pronounce and lacked the panache of the winning entry. This moniker was an affectionate nod to its famous ancestor, the Brooklyn Eagle first published when Brooklyn was still an independent city in 1841. It went out of business for certain in 1955 so in many ways, The Brooklyn Eaglet could be considered the direct offspring. According to Wikipedia, there is a new claimant as the successor, published since 1955 as The Brooklyn Daily Bulletin. But that does not count.

The Brooklyn Eaglet was the true successor, published just blocks away from the site of the original location on Clinton Street in Brooklyn Heights. Being that we lived on Clinton Avenue, in the Clinton Hill/Ft. Green section of Brooklyn (hence the name referenced above), it was indeed fitting and proper that we be the true heirs.

Presently, I can’t give you the exact years, dates or further descriptions of our tabloid. Thanks in part to a doting Aunt Anna who, like me, never threw anything away, we were able to recover at least some of the issues. The one I have in my hand is the “Summer Special” published in June-July, 1970. I would have just graduated from Bishop Loughlin MHS, and indeed the lead story is about the various family members’ graduations that year.

Of more interest is the volume number – Vol. 7 - in the heading suggesting that the original issue was published by my sister and me sometime around 1963 – me being the ripe old age of 10. This fits with my recollections. Although the Eaglet was my sister’s idea, I, having already mastered the two-finger typing technique that would serve me for years, was eager to use my newfound skills to greater ends. I guess the reason why the writing of blogs and endless newsletters for the past 30 years comes with such ease is related to this early training. I might add that even at ten I was probably a bit overbearing and insisted on being the one to script the front page complete with its hand-written banner and logo.

But that’s not why I am writing today, though I promise I will return to the Brooklyn Eaglet to fill you all in on dirty details. No, the reason for today’s muse is due to a Portland Press Herald article about the real thing – real eaglets – Maine eaglets.

According to the PPH, Maine is now home to three fuzzy little birds, the children of Mama and Papa Eagle nesting 70 feet up atop a white pine tree somewhere in Hancock County. While having eaglets in Maine at this time of the year is no surprise (we do celebrate the fact that the breed is returning from almost extinction due to the DDT poisoning of the 1960’s and prospering all over the state), what is of merit is the fact that these critters can be seen live on the Internet. The Maine Eaglet Cam may be found on the website of the BioDiversity Research Institute. And making this apparently an even more significant and rare event is the fact that there are triplets. Yup, that’s right – three eaglets.

So check it out. And make sure you take a look at the archived images – lots of beauty there.

And, stay tuned for more about the Brooklyn Eaglet.



Dr. Sullivan said...

What a great remembrance and connection to your present life in Maine! I recall a plethora of newspapers in the Brooklyn of my youth. And, speaking of the Eagle, my mother's first job (before nursing school) was at the Brooklyn Eagle Pencil Co.
Love, Sue

jeb said...

There is an update to the eaglet story and it is not pretty.