Category Archives: People in the News

Where the focus is on individual Bricklynites, including Gloria Vanderbrick’s “People in the News” articles and interviews.

“Pastries by Patsy,” a New French-Style Bakery / Café, to Open Downtown

March 5, 2023

Editor’s Note: In light of the resolution of the “Great Donut Debate,” we were especially excited to learn that Patsy, a Burlington VT Outlander, will be opening a French-style bakery / café downtown. Gloria Vanderbrick, our “People in the News” correspondent, recently interviewed Patsy to learn more about her plans.

Bricklyn Eagle: What got you interested in opening up a bakery in downtown Bricklyn, and will this be your first foray into operating a bakery?

Patsy: I have been operating the bakery as a home-based business in the Outland city of Burlington, VT, for many years. When a prime location opened up in the desirable and nearby Inland community of Bricklyn, I seized the opportunity.

Pastries by Patsy will be on the ground floor (by the brown canopy) of the historic Southeast Corner Building, also home to the Bricklyn Natural History Museum on the second floor, and around the corner from the new Space Flight Park.

Bricklyn Eagle: We’ve heard your bakery will be replacing the pizza shop in the historic Southeast Corner Building. What appealed to you about that location?

Patsy: My realtor, a certain Mr. xxxxxx (who, I might add, received a considerable commission on the transaction!) convinced me that this is the perfect location for my bakery, being near transit and on the bike-pedestrian pathway.

It’s also immediately below the Bricklyn Natural History Museum, which I heard is a very popular attraction.

Making the deal even better, I was able to purchase the pizza shop’s ovens, which are in very good condition, at a quite reasonable price.

Sal Brickfour, owner of the now closed PizzaBrick shop, showing Patsy Brickerson the inside kitchen layout of what will soon be Pastries by Patsy.

Note: As required by Bricklyn’s “Avatar” law, all Outland persons owning businesses in Bricklyn must be represented by an “avatar minifigure” — so here, the real Outland Patsy is represented by her Bricklyn avatar, Patsy Brickerson. For reasons of privacy and security, only a very few Bricklyn officials in the Office of Consular Affairs are aware of the actual identity of the Outland owner / operator of a Bricklyn business.

I should add that Mr. Tim Brickedy of the Bricklyn zoning and planning office was very helpful in facilitating the permitting process.

Bricklyn Eagle: Will you be offering sit-down service inside, and/or on your patio?

Patsy: We will have seating for 12 indoors, where patrons can watch the baking in process, and additional seating for 12 on the patio, with views of the Bricklyn bike and ped path, looking out towards the historic, tree-lined Northside Square neighborhood.

Bricklyn Eagle: Can you give us a preview of your menu, and tell our readers what they have to look forward to?

Patsy: Here is a copy of our menu, which I think will whet everyone’s appetite. You will notice that the menu includes beignets au cidre de pomme to please doughnut-loving Bricklynites!

📍Note: Patsy’s spelling of donuts as “doughnuts” indicates her north-of-the-border Canadian roots.

Bricklyn Eagle: We know you are aware of Bricklyn Eagle Editor Brickman’s unfortunate — and, I might add, completely out of character — comments about donuts and croissants. We also know that he has apologized and offered an explanation to our readers. What is your reaction to these recent events?

Patsy: Initially I was insulted and deeply wounded. However, Walt Brickman apologized and wrote a beautiful ode to croissants. It is the most beautiful poem I have ever read! I have accepted Mr. Brickman’s apology, and I am confident that he will learn to appreciate the true beauty of French pastries when he visits Pastries by Patsy.

Bricklyn Eagle: We have heard that you are a member of your home region’s chapter of the Alliance Française. Members of the Bricklyn chapter have told me they are looking forward to meeting you. Is there anything you’d like to share with our readers about the role an Alliance Française can play not just in fostering French-oriented businesses?

Patsy: Did you know that the Alliance Française has generously offered to teach Bricklyn business owners and their employees how to speak French and use the subjunctive mood correctly? The classes will be held at Pastries by Patsy.

Bricklyn Eagle: Finally, as you know there are many passionate donut lovers in Bricklyn. Do you believe that coexistence of croissants and donuts is possible?

Patsy: My beignets au cidre de pomme, which are baked rather than fried, demonstrate that croissant and doughnut lovers can more than just coexist, then can live happily together!

Bricklyn Eagle: So apparently, Just as the farmer and the cowman should be friends, so should the doughnut and the croissant lover!📍 What a delightful note to end our conversation on. Best wishes, Patsy, for your success, and we look forward to your opening this Spring. ✥

📍Note from Gloria: I just couldn’t resist that allusion to one of my favorite musical numbers. If you haven’t heard it in a while, take a listen!

If readers have any questions or comments about Pastries by Patsy, please email us and we will forward them on to Patsy.

Stunning Revelation in Bricklyn Eagle Interview of American Astronaut Neil Armstrong Published after 10+ Year Hold

February 25, 2023

➤ Last week, The Bricklyn Eagle reported on the new downtown Space Flight Park, which many predict will quickly become a “must see” stop for visitors to Bricklyn.

➤ Today we are publishing below the transcript of a June 10, 2009 interview Editor Walt Brickman conducted with the man who first set foot on the Moon, American astronaut Neil Armstrong. Publication of that 2009 transcript, as you will read, had been embargoed until today. How Armstrong’s Apollo 11 lunar mission relates to Bricklyn’s own astronaut, the late Tom Swiftbrick, will for the first time be revealed.

Transcript of Embargoed 2009 Bricklyn Eagle Interview of U.S. Astronaut Neil Armstrong:

Bricklyn Eagle: Mr. Armstrong, thank you so much for being willing to come to Bricklyn and visit with us today to discuss some aspects of the secret history of the Apollo 11 mission to the Moon which you led. I say “secret” because, as you mentioned to us last week, it involves the late Tom Swiftbrick, one of Bricklyn’s original astronauts.

Neil Armstrong: I’m glad to talk with you this afternoon. We do have an understanding that no portion of this interview will be publicly released until ten years and six months after my death.📍

📍Neil Armstrong died on August 25, 2012, ten years and six months ago. 10-6 was apparently Armstrong’s favorite combination of numbers, because, he once said, that with NASA he “always seemed to be on stand-by.”

Bricklyn Eagle: Yes, we agreed to that condition.

Armstrong: Good. Thank you. I am sure at that day in the future, the citizens of Bricklyn will take great pride in the fact that one of their own, Astronaut Tom Swiftbrick, accompanied us on the Apollo 11 mission, and walked on the surface of the Moon with me on that amazing July day in 1969.

Bricklyn Eagle: Wow! I just felt my heart skip a beat when you said that. Amazing!

Tom Swiftbrick suited up on the lunar surface, next to Neil Armstrong’s left leg. Image captured by Buzz Aldrin on July 20, 1969 (image generated with the assistance of DALL-E2).

Armstrong: Walt, let me pull out this shot of Tom that Buzz Aldrin took right after I jiggled Tom out of my pocket and put him down on the Moon’s surface. i must have looked like a giant next to Tom.

Bricklyn Eagle: Over the years some of us had heard rumors about this. But it’s still stunning to hear you say that Tom Swiftbrick walked on the surface of the Moon with you.

When we asked Swiftbrick a few years ago about this rumor, he laughingly denied it, saying “don’t you news guys have something better to do with you time.”📍

📍As many readers know, Tom Swiftbrick died nearly three years ago. Bricklyn’s ballpark was renamed in his memory — as Swiftbrick was also a big fan and supporter of the Bricklyn Stackers.

Bricklyn astronaut Tom Swiftbrick in his new and more colorful BASA spacesuit. Photo from The Bricklyn Eagle archives (August 5, 1973).

Armstrong: [chuckling] Of course Tom would say that. He agreed to never disclose his involvement with Apollo 11, and as the honorable Bricklynite he was, he never did. The only others at NASA who knew about Tom being onboard were my crew-mates, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins, who also, as they promised me, have kept their lips sealed.

Bricklyn Eagle: Why the need for secrecy?

Armstrong: There’s an interesting story, also not known to the public, behind that. NASA had originally approached Carl B. Sheagan, your Realm’s chief cosmologist at the time, about having a Bricklynite on board, you know, as a sign of building stronger relations between the human and the LEGO-based world. In fact, an initial understanding was reached with NASA that Tom would join our crew. You can even see — if you move that slider bar on the photo below to the right — there’s the real original NASA photo of me. You’ll see the Bricklyn logo on my left sleeve just beneath the American flag.

The first photo you see above is the one of Neil Armstrong the world has come to know, and is even featured on Wikipedia. But if you move the slider to the right you’ll see the actual photo of Armstrong, with the words “Bricklyn VT” emblazoned on his left arm sleeve. These words were excised from the copy of the photo people are familiar with. (NASA Photo, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)

But some of the “politicos” with oversight over NASA began to feel uncomfortable with having a non-human individual on the spaceflight, and put pressure on our agency. They felt it would make NASA the laughingstock of the human world and that our major rival, the U.S.S.R., would taunt us as being anti-human for having a LEGO astronaut join our crew.📍 That photo of me suited up [see above] that I just showed you was “photoshopped” to delete the BricklynVT logo.

Chimpanzee “Ham” in space suit is fitted into the couch of the Mercury-Redstone 2 capsule #5 prior to its test flight which was conducted on January 31, 1961. NASA photo via Wikipedia.

📍Editor’s note: Too often we forget that many non-humans have been in space, including Ham, the chimp who flew for NASA, and many monkeys and dogs who flew for the Soviet Union.

Of course, what those politicians believed was nonsense. Tom Swiftbrick was as well-trained to go to the Moon as I was. I felt awful for Tom when word was passed along that he had been scrubbed from the crew. But I felt even worse knowing this was a lost opportunity for us “Outlanders” to strengthen our ties with you “Inlanders” … and frankly, all of us astronauts, whether human or LEGO-based, shared the same passion for exploration.

Bricklyn Eagle: Remarkable what you’re saying. But how then did Swiftbrick get onto Apollo 11?

Armstrong: [chuckling] That was my little secret, shared only with Buzz and Michael. I asked Tom if he’d be willing to be tucked into the oversized shirt pocket under my spacesuit and come along for the ride. Just told him he’d have to vow never to reveal this. Tom, with that famous grin of his, agreed. As he weighed just twelve grams with his own spacesuit on, his extra weight was minuscule, and made essentially no difference in our overall payload.

So, yes, Swiftbrick was with us. When we had the cameras turned off, he floated out of my pocket and enjoyed the pleasure of weightlessness. As I mentioned, he also walked on the surface of the Moon with me, so it was truly a giant leap not just for mankind, but for “LEGO kind” as well!

Bricklyn Eagle: So you took Swiftbrick with you, despite what your higher-ups at NASA decided?

Armstrong: Yes, I did. It was the only time in my career I did anything like that, though if I were a lawyer I’d note that we were simply told that Astronaut Swiftbrick could not be a member of the crew, not that we couldn’t take him on board as our “passenger.”

Bricklyn Eagle: I want to thank you again for being willing to sit down with us for an interview. We know that someday we in Bricklyn will be able to honor not just Tom Swiftbrick and his fellow Bricklyn astronauts, but also you and your crew-mates for what you accomplished on Apollo 11 … and what you did for Tom Swiftbrick, and for Bricklyn. ✥

Responses to the Publication of the Armstrong Interview:

To The Editor: “I was very pleasantly surprised to read your interview of famous American astronaut Neil Armstrong. The revelations in today’s Bricklyn Eagle about astronaut Tom Swiftbrick’s extraordinary voyage with Neil Armstrong will be treasured by all citizens of the Realm. In conjunction with the opening of Space Flight Park, this has been quite a week in the history of Bricklyn.” — O’Neal deGas Brickson, Chief Cosmologist, Realm of Bricklyn.

To the Editor: “No one could have better scripted a week like we’ve just had. To see the amazing Space Flight Park now open after nearly a year of construction, and then find out that our very own Tom Swiftbrick reached the Moon with Neil Armstrong. It all just takes my breath away.” — Dennis Plater Dross, Bricklyn Ambassador to Vermont & Outland Communities,.

Astronauts Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong in NASA’s training mockup of the moon and the Apollo Lunar Module. Were photos of the mission and Moon landing actually made using sets similar to this training mockup? Many still believe this. / Photo by NASA via Wikimedia.

To the Editor: You must think Bricklynites are country bumpkins? We know that Tom Swiftbrick never was on Apollo 11, and never went down to the Moon in anyone’s shirt pocket! In fact, there never was any space flight to the Moon’s surface. It was that big-shot director, Kubrick I think was his name, who put the whole deep fake together on a big Hollywood set of his.

You want proof? Your article says that NASA “photoshopped” the photo of Neil Armstrong’s spacesuit to eliminate the Bricklyn logo. Can you believe a group that would do that? If they’ll post phony pictures like that one, why wouldn’t they also post fake pictures of the so-called lunar landing?

It’s sad that Bricklyn was ever involved with NASA. Should have just kept our own space program going. NASA even swiped our rocket design for their “new” SLS rockets. You gonna trust that outfit?” — Seeker of Truth, Bricklyn, VT

Reply from Editor Walt Brickman: We stand by our reporting. Only a small segment of the population still believes that the lunar landing was a fake. High-resolution orbital photos indicate that the lunar vehicle components and flags are still on the Moon’s surface. As to what Neil Armstrong told me during our interview, I will leave that to our readers to judge.

See Walt Brickman’s poem in honor of Swiftbrick & Armstrong: “In the Shirt Pocket of Neil Armstrong

Shocking “Private” Poems Become a Public Matter

February 5, 2023

by Brenda Softbrick, The Bricklyn Eagle’s Culture & History correspondent, with support from Samantha B. Fortune, Health & Science correspondent

Summary of Article ➤ Brickman “private” poems on donuts and croissants found on street outside Bricklyn Eagle offices. Brickman offers explanation for his “doggerel.”

Groundskeeper Willie by Bricklyn Eagle trash can this morning. The papers he found were retrieved on the street near the trash can shortly before Willie delivered them to reporter Softbrick. Photo by Brenda Softbrick.

This reporter on arriving at work this morning  was given two pieces of paper by Groundskeeper Willie. As Willie explained: “Ah fun thae twa papers ootdoors this mornin’ as ah wis daein’ mah roonds. Ah didnae ken if thay wur overflowing fae yer office’s wee trashcan. Ah brought tae yer affice as ah wasn’t sure if ye wanted thaim.” 📍

📍As Simpson fans know Groundskeeper Willie has a strong Scottish accent. Here he’s describing how he found two papers on the street this morning while he was making his rounds, and brought them to The Eagle’s offices as he wasn’t sure whether or not they were meant for the trash. [Scottish translation using scotranslate.] For those not familiar with Bricklyn’s history, Willie came here in 2020 as part of the surprising relocation of the Simpson family and friends from Springfield to Bricklyn. See Bricklyn FAQ #5.

In examining the papers, I immediately realized they were written by our editor and reporter, Walt Brickman, as I’m familiar with his handwriting.

Our paper in its reporting has sought to be an objective and neutral voice in local affairs, and a publication that values journalistic transparency. After consulting with fellow reporter Samantha Fortune, we decided to immediately transcribe and publish the poems in The Eagle online.

As readers will quickly note, the poems touch on the subject of the heated “great debate” in Bricklyn dealing with donuts and croissants.

I located Editor Brickman at his home, just a block from our offices, while he was about to have breakfast. He acknowledged being the author of these poems.  As Brickman acknowledged:

Bricklyn Eagle Editor Walt Brickman
Bricklyn Eagle Editor Walt Brickman in front of the newspaper’s offices. Photo from The Eagle’s archives.

“Yes, I was passing time writing that doggerel that Groundskeeper Willie apparently picked up on the sidewalk near our office’s trash can. It is no secret that one of my hobbies is in writing poetry, especially what I hope some will find to be humorous odes.”

Brickman continued, “The poems you found and are printing today, however, were not meant for public distribution or viewing, and I’m not going to say whether or not they represent my personal views about donuts or croissants — views I am not going to share with you or with anyone else.”

As Brickman added: “I do want to say that Groundskeeper Willie did the right thing in bringing the papers back to our office, and I also do not fault you as a reporter for making them public, as they were found on the street, and not through any invasion of my home or office. I own full responsibility for my carelessness in how I discarded these papers.”

The impact, if any, of the disclosure of the Brickman poems on “The Great Donut” debate, and on the rumored opening of a French patisserie, will be seen over the coming days. ✥

Update: Feb. 5, 2023, 9 pm EST. After reading this article, please read the apology & explanation just posted by Walt Brickman.

Here is the text of the two poems Groundskeeper Willie found on the street near the Bricklyn Eagle’s offices.

 Oh Donuts So Sweet

Oh Donuts, sweet confection of the skies,
With frosting swirls and sprinkles bright,
You bring a smile to all who espies,
A simple joy that shines so light.

Your circular form, a perfect sphere,
So pleasing to the eye and soul,
With fluffy dough that’s soft and fair,
And flavors that can make us whole.

Chocolate and glaze, a classic treat,
With frosted flakes that crunch so loud,
Or jelly filled, a burst of sweet,
That dances on the tongue, so proud.

Symbol of our simplest joy and vows
A treat that brings us all together,
A bite of happiness, a day of wows
That makes our hearts feel light as feathers.

So here’s to you, O Donuts, round,
A wonder of the bakery’s art,
May you forever be found,
In every heart and every cart.

transcribed from Walt Brickman handwritten pages

Crust of Pain

O croissant, thou flaky crust of pain,
A treat to eyes, but a cruel disdain.
Thy layers, so delicate, crisp and light,
A false promise of taste, in the morning light.

Oh French pastries, thou art a deceit,
With sweet aroma, thou dost mock and cheat.
Thou art a lie, in disguise so fair,
A guise of delight, hiding true despair.

For as thou art bitten, thy flavor doth fade,
Leaving a bitter, unpleasant taste.
Thy dough, so tough, chewy, hard and dry,
A cruel punishment, with every bite nigh.

Oh croissant, thou art a cruel tease,
A pastry of sorrow, a pastry of fleas.
Thou art not fit for the morning meal,
But a source of frustration, that dost me steal.

So, I say this with a heavy heart,
That thou, croissant, hast played thy part,
In bringing me grief, in bringing me pain,
Thou art the bane of my morning sustenance.

transcribed from Walt Brickman handwritten pages

Update: Feb. 5, 2023, 9 pm EST:

See the Apology & Explanation Just Posted by Walt Brickman.