A Sad Anniversary

A year ago, I had just arrived home from my day job when the phone rang. It was Heather Quinlan, fellow BHB staffer. “Did you hear about John?” I knew it wasn’t some ghastly April Fools’ gag. My first thought was of Tracy, his wife, and of Gracie, his daughter whom I had last seen on her fourth birthday.

Using the pseudonym “Homer Fink”, which he took from a favorite childhood book, John started Brooklyn Heights Blog on August 4, 2006. Shortly after that, he found a post on my blog that he re-posted on BHB, and this brought us into contact and my becoming a BHB contributor, and John’s friend.

John made the Brooklyn Heights Blog a valuable community resource, which was recognized in 2011 when BHB received an award for outstanding community service from the Brooklyn Heights Association at the BHA’s Annual Meeting that year. The photo shows John receiving the award from BHA and Channel 13’s Tom Stewart.

All of us at BHB, who try to carry on what John started and brought to fruition, miss him very much.

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  • HeatherQuinlan

    We do miss him very much. I never realized what an impact he made on me and others in the neighborhood until he was gone. Now I’m moving in a couple weeks – not because of John, but because my building was sold – but whereas before I would’ve been heartbroken, now I think I’m ready to say good-bye.

  • Andrew Porter

    Heather, if you’re leaving the Heights, I will certainly miss your posts.

  • Andrew Porter

    The cruel irony—Is it true? Is it an April Fool’s joke?—when Homer died so suddenly was a near-fatal blow to the BHB. As noted often and elsewhere, alas he took all the passwords to operations here with him to the grave (a stupid cliché but sadly true here).

    I know how hard Claude has labored to maintain the BHB, but his time and energy are severely restricted. This is the same problem I had when I was publishing: I never had the time, energy or money to do everything that needed to be done, and some important things were postponed or just never got done.

    I still miss Homer’s wit, expressed here in so many ways. It’s stunning that it’s been a whole year.

  • HereToStay

    He would have hated what the blog has turned into… Meaning: all the nastiness, which is beyond any of the thoughtful debate that used to take place here…

  • ColumbiaHeightster

    This is a tribute post. Maybe we could try to keep it positive?

  • HereToStay

    Wow. See — couldn’t help yourself, could you. Sad. RIP, Homer. Sorry this has turned into this.

  • AEB

    I have been reading and contributing to this blog since I moved to BH in 2007. I assure you that it was always a place for strong and sometimes contentious opinion. There were–as there are now–a number of dust-ups; opinion and bitching was and is the name-of-the-game here. They’re some of the things that makes the blog such fun.

  • Jeffrey Smith

    I agree, the blog has expanded to examine the expanded aspects, some very concerning, the Heights finds itself in. This is very healthy and serves our expanded range of needs. And you’re right, it is fun, but more importantly it surfaces issues and truths and in doing so, serves the public interest.

  • Moni

    Yes, those contentious posts can be fun, but only up to a point. It would be nice if blog hogs like Arch Stanton would practice a little self control.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UlsiLOnWCoI Arch Stanton

    Really? Jeff Smith and all his aliases post far more than I do. I merely post to counter his bigoted, fear mongering and often false statements.

  • ColumbiaHeightster

    Best of luck to you wherever your next move takes you.

  • Pierrepont

    I, too, miss the sparkle and wit of Mr. Fink. Was honored to take one of his neighborhood tours back in 2010 or thereabouts. But it’s a credit to his legacy that this blog still exists, even if it’s mostly about yelling at each other on Open Thread Wednesday.

  • Jorale-man

    I’ve been reading and periodically chiming in on this blog for nearly as long, and have to agree that some recent directions are concerning. Specifically, the Open Thread Wednesday has really devolved into what’s bad about comments threads across the Internet. I’ve stopped reading OTW for the most part, which is a shame because it used to be mostly neighborly and often useful.

    I know that Claude is very busy, and has done his admirable best to carry on Homer’s legacy, but perhaps if there was a way to exercise a little oversight with that feature, it would bring up the overall level of the website.