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Now That’s A Bunch Of Croc!

 

Just ask Robert Greeenberg anything about the city of New Haven, go ahead, anything. The man is a walking, talking croc-drawing extremely animated encyclopedia. Okay, in modern terms think of him as a type of Google search for the Elm City. New Haven is coming up on its 375th birthday, and Greenberg can recite chapter and verse that far back and then some. Greenberg is a product of New Haven several generations back. He has stories about his family coming here from Russia and embracing the city, making a living in it, and embracing its rich history.

As a kid, Greenberg was introduced to the Peabody Museum and to the dinosaurs inside. He began a type of curiosity with reptiles. As he grew older he found himself working in New York City and began to draw on bar napkins. That practice led to drawing a crocodile. He grew so impassioned by his creations that he decided on a certain type of napkin with a certain type of felt-tipped pen. He found there was only one kind of napkin that would allow the ink to bleed. The type of pen was, and is, a Pilot Razor Point made by Pilot.

Tens of thousands of drawings later on napkins, Greenberg is famous for his crocs. He thinks his crocodiles are friendly and with his love of history, especially New Haven, he thinks he can draw children in to enjoy the history of the city. He believes if we learn from history maybe we won’t make so many mistakes in the future. I couldn’t agree with him more.

There is an exhibit underway at the DaSilva Gallery in the Westville section of New Haven where Greenberg is showing his artifacts that he has collected his entire life on the city and of his Crocodiles. He’s selling the work to further his work in setting up a museum for the city so that all who come there can learn about it, its culture, Yale university, you name it. Speaking of Yale, he even knows the whole history of the ivy league’s mascot, Handsome Dan and how that got started. I’m sure he knows more about it that even Yale.

Greenberg is so passionate about the past that when an historic building is raised in New Haven he sometimes shows up to see what kind of artifacts might be found in the dirt, over the years he has found a ton of items. All of this teaches us about our past. In the exhibit there is a glass case of all kinds of items that people hundreds of years ago threw out.

So that’s the ongoing story of Greenberg. He drew me a couple of crocs too which I am treasuring, after all I’ve been on the air in New Haven for almost 25 years, to that makes me a part of its history too.

 

4 Comments

  1. Robin Reed
    Posted February 26, 2011 at 9:23 pm | Permalink

    Great story on an interesting individual! I look forward to the day when rob can share his museum of new haven with the public on a permanent basis!

  2. Hillary Talmadge
    Posted February 27, 2011 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

    So proud of my friend Rob Greenberg! This is his life here… he’s so passionate about everything and I can predict magnificently great things to happen to him in the future! Let’s get this viral 🙂 Thank you Ann for what you’ve given to the citizens of Connecticut. Your website is fantastic and it’s about time we had an outlet where we can read and watch positive news about our state for once. Great job!

    • Ann Nyberg
      Posted February 27, 2011 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

      Hillary, and Robin, thanks so much for reading, it continues to baffle me why the state is not connecting to so much positive in so many ways. I’m wondering if there is a way that I can live another 200 years or so to just keep writing.

  3. Posted February 27, 2011 at 5:12 pm | Permalink

    Ann thanks so much for this post. Very interesting! I have a side-by-side comparison of the black panther rally Greenberg drawing & the original photo taken in 1970.
    http://nork.com/2011/02/robert-greenberg-crocs.html

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