Nina Gunther-Segal, with school librarian Kim Bader and the Principal Dan Feigelson a moment after the unveiling.
The plaque at PS 6, 81st St. between Park and Madison Aves.
In April, 2005, a 4th-grade class from a nearby public school, P.S. 6, came to the Model-boat Pond to talk to me about the Fifth Avenue hawks and to look at Pale Male's nest through Lincoln's telescope. I'd met one of the kids before, a girl named Nina Gunther-Segal. She and her mother, Molly Gunther, were frequent visitors to the Hawk Bench and big-time Pale Male fans. Nina mentioned that she had a dream -- to have Pale Male become her school's official mascot. She even gave me a petition to sign, drumming up support for her idea. Of course I signed, but I didn't suppose anything would come of it.
The photos above show what happens when a smart, charming, persuasive and very persistent kid [with a cooperative mother] pursues a dream. Just about a month ago, on June 20, 2006, to be exact, I attended a little ceremony on the steps of P.S. 6. It was to mark the unveiling of a plaque permanently affixed to the facade of the school building. Pale Male was now the official mascot of P.S. 6. As Nina's mother wrote me in an e-mail inviting me and Lincoln to the event, "Inspired by Lincoln's photography, the plaque depicts Pale Male with accompanying text by Nina -- a lasting testament to the importance and vitality of the Central Park "classroom."