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Little-Known Brooklyn Residents: Parrot Fanciers Jeremiah O'Shea and William Musella

Sep 20, 2010 10:14 AM | 0 comments

Jeremiah O'Shea, a 1950 Red Hook resident, owned a parrot with a special talent -- the ability to swear in four languages. When Jeremiah made a trip to the pet store for birdseed one morning, he returned to find his front door open and his parrot Polly missing from her cage. He searched the neighborhood and the police investigated too, with no success. Almost a month later two teens were pulled up for causing a disturbance and after police questioning, the teens admitted that they had broken into Jeremiah's home and sold Polly to another local bird fancier. To O'Shea's delight Polly was reunited with her owner by two policemen who reported that when Polly was set down on her kitchen table she "breathed a deep sigh and croaked 'Good Night' in four languages."

Jeremiah O'Shea reunited with his parrot Polly

William Musella's parrot named Doris also had a special talent -- riding on the hood of his old green Packard. Doris did this by holding on tightly to the radiator with her claws and was not chained at any time. "I trained her on Sunrise Highway" Musella announced, "...a woman stopped me one day and said 'I have toured the 48 states and never saw such a thing in my life.'" Musella raised money for the Red Cross and the Kingsbridge Road Veterans Hospital by exhibiting Doris and her talent outside local bars and grills. During her time with Musella she toured Brooklyn, Long Island and the state of New Jersey.

William Musella and Doris exhibiting her talent outside a local bar