Saturday, November 27, 2010

Remembering the Passenger Pigeon

American Heritage, April 1961

Link to November 27 Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel article, "Art keeps passenger pigeon's memory alive. Businessman offers Gromme poster to Wisconsin libraries, schools".

Excerpt:   Passenger pigeons have been extinct for nearly a century, but Bud Gussel wants to keep their memory alive.

Gussel is a Wisconsin Dells businessman, a local history buff and devotee of a bird once so plentiful it darkened the skies.

He's mailed out posters of a pair of passenger pigeons - a male and female perched above the Wisconsin River - to more than 600 schools and libraries in Wisconsin since 2008.

But he has a loftier goal. His mission is to donate the print by famed wildlife artist Owen Gromme to every school and library in the state. There are more than 2,200 public schools alone in Wisconsin.

"There is only one way you can get them," he said. "All you have to do is ask."

Gussel, owner of Holiday Wholesale Inc., doesn't want the public to forget the passenger pigeon, which once traveled the state by the tens of millions and was ultimately trapped and shot to extinction.

"I want people to remember that protection of species is important, because without it, we could lose something forever," he said

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