Some of you may have heard that we had ourselves a little twister up here in Brooklyn last week (I received several text messages from unknown numbers inquiring if I was dead or not). The New York Times’ City Room Blog did a little digging around and dug up some old press coverage from 1889, which was the last time we had a tornado in Brooklyn. There are several amazing quotes, but this one in particular stands out:
“The marines in the barracks,” The Eagle reported, “had almost to a man hastened to the ground below, when Private Kelly, an old seaman, rushed in after the big explosion and shouting ‘Shiver me timbers, lads, here’s a pretty go,’ and made a break for the door.”
Another one from Charles E. Teale, who worked for the Board of Education in 1889:
“I was sitting at dinner with my family…when suddently we heard a sound as though a number of heavy trucks were coming down on the asphalt pavement on the street…One of my children who was on the top floor and evidently had a good view of the explosion from the rear windows said: ‘Oh, papa, the sun is burst.’”
If we can get some more of this old timey prose in print, I’m nearly positive that the circulation woes of the nation’s newspapers will be cured at once.