BROOKLYN, IOWA — Brooklynites have opened their hearts, loosened their tongues and served up plenty of ham to their beloved brother from the East Coast.
This reporter arrived on Tuesday after a harrowing drive through snowbound Illinois and eastern Iowa and immediately basked in the warmth of small-town Iowans.
Then again, I came bearing gifts.
Hearing that I would be covering the first in the nation caucuses in the small town of Brooklyn (population 1,200), Borough President Markowitz wrote a proclamation declaring Brooklyn, Iowa, “the official Brooklyn of the Midwest” and asked me to present it to Mayor Loren Rickard.
Hizzoner was touched.
“That is very thoughtful and I promise to put it in a prominent place,” he said.
Markowitz also tossed in a dozen “Brooklyn” pins and a wool ski cap with the name of his beloved borough written out in a graffiti style.
Mayor Rickard wore it proudly to former President Clinton’s speech Wednesday night in Brooklyn’s public school.
After the speech, I was the guest of honor at a dinner at Rickard’s home.
“Do you eat ham?” Hizzoner’s wife, Jodi, asked me.
#8220;That depends,” this New York Jew answered. “Do you have a fork?”
In short order, I was filled in on Brooklyn Iowa’s big stories, including the details of a gunpoint kidnapping of the town’s most-prominent doctor in the 1970s (the gun-toting perp was his wife!); a fight between Brooklyn native John Wayne (yes, that John Wayne) and local bully Balzer Kriegel over Wayne’s given name, Marion; how the man behind the town’s famed display of all 50 state flags was actually conceived by a guy who had the monopoly on local flagpoles; and a 1979 love triangle bank robbery murder (alas, that crime was in a neighboring town; there hasn’t been a murder in Brooklyn, Iowa, since the stagecoach days).
And then there was the time two youngsters built a copulating snowman and snow-woman. Rickard said he was reluctant to use the powers of his office to remove the display.
“Actually, we marveled at the workmanship,” he said. “Besides, it melted.”
©2008 Community News Group
By submitting this comment, you agree to the following terms:
You agree that you, and not BrooklynPaper.com or its affiliates, are fully responsible for the content that you post. You agree not to post any abusive, obscene, vulgar, slanderous, hateful, threatening or sexually-oriented material or any material that may violate applicable law; doing so may lead to the removal of your post and to your being permanently banned from posting to the site. You grant to BrooklynPaper.com the royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual and fully sublicensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such content in whole or in part world-wide and to incorporate it in other works in any form, media or technology now known or later developed.