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The E-Sylum:  Volume 11, Number 4, January 27, 2008, Article 23

ARTICLE ON SUSAN GAMBLE'S MODELS FOR THE NEW BALD EAGLE COINS

Another female bald eagle might have her talons on his
heart, but rest assured, the love story between George and
Martha is not quite over.

The products of their union, their eaglets, are pictured on
a gold coin released this week by the U.S. Mint as part of
a three-coin set honoring the national bird.

When the coins went on sale last Tuesday, there was no mention
of George and Martha or of the construction workers on the
Woodrow Wilson Bridge project who named them. But follow the
artist's initials on the coins, S.G., to Arlington County
resident Susan Gamble, and her muse is clear.

"It just seemed they had to be immortalized, or at least I
had to try," said Gamble, who used photographs of the eaglets
to design the coins.

A master designer for the Mint and a self-described "bit
of a tree hugger," Gamble received the assignment for the
coins early last year and said her thoughts immediately
drifted to George and Martha.

The pair had lived on Rosalie Island, on the Maryland side
of the bridge, since the 1990s but made national headlines
two years ago when a younger female, making a move for
George, attacked Martha, seriously injuring her. Martha
recovered at a rescue center in Delaware and made her way
back to George but was euthanized months later after flying
into a tree or power line.

Gamble said that what struck her most about the birds'
story was the irony of their situation: that humans were
responsible for their dwindling numbers but were also trying
to help them. She remembered hearing that when Martha was
injured, bridge workers would leave fish for George.

Gamble's designs are on two of the three coins in the set,
and the eaglets appear on the $5 gold coin, which costs more
like $300. On the coin, a young bald eagle stretches its
wings as a sibling looks on from the same branch. Gamble
said the scene was modeled from two of Spears's photographs.

To read the complete article, see:
Full Story

  Wayne Homren, Editor

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