The Mount Vernon Public Library, Saint Paul’s Church and the Statue of TR!
Richard J. Garfunkel
March 18, 2006
After finishing up my tennis game at Mount Vernon’s Memorial Field Bubble I decided to drive down Route 22 to the Pelham Gourmet, which is right off Boston Road. They have a pretty worthwhile appetizing department and one can get just about anything from their salad bar. So after getting some fruit and a wedge I made up my mind to visit Saint Paul’s church again. The light was great and I was sure that some good pictures could be easily had. Of course there was no one strolling about and I had the churchyard and cemetery all to myself except, of course for the permanent residents. I was able to take some shots, which I have included with this e-mail, and I looked for the grave of one Thomas Flenders, where I had posed my self in 1967 and 1994. Eventually I found it and I was surprised how weathered it had become over the years. It was even getting hard to read the engravings. Thankfully the sun was out and it counteracted the cold March breeze. After strolling around for a few more minutes I hopped in my car and headed over to 1st Avenue and the public library. After reading that story, from Mary Ann Cammarosano Fruciante, about the stone monument that was placed there in 1949, by the French town of Thionville, I decided to look at it myself. I had not been in that library since my senior year in 1963, so this was a real adventure.
The librarian had no clue about the monument, but I was able to find it on the First Avenue side and take a few photos. Somehow I remember walking by that concrete bullet shaped piece in the distant past. But I was glad that I finally knew what is was and how it got there. The library is an incredible structure but it could obviously use a great deal of work. It would be nice if they could get a significant grant from the Federal government or from some corporations. But libraries are suffering everywhere and money is getting tighter and tighter in Washington, as more and more libraries are being built and wrecked in Iraq. Meanwhile at one of the research tables, a young gal in her 30’s was searching through some of the MVHS yearbooks from 1968, 1969, and 1970. So I started to engage her in a bit of small talk, and when she was finished with the books I thumbed through them to see if some of my teachers had been still around. Many were! My buddy Lew Perelman, who taught there in 1969, had his picture in the science department, and another friend, Barry Reed’s mother was pictured in the guidance section.
After that pleasant interlude with the past, I drove over to Gramatan Avenue, parked in front of Davis High, and walked up the steps to take some pictures of old Teddy Roosevelt. The building looks the same, just like old times.