Greenwich Gossip

Friday, January 27, 2012

Will We Ever See It Again?

Yesterday the mural depicting the early years of Greenwich was removed from the Post Office and packed for shipment to Washington, DC. The story told to your scribe was that it was being sent for restoration, in accordance with a long-standing contract with the USPS to conserve these Depression-era works of art if a building were sold. A professional firm based in Chicago was handling the process, which gives one some confidence that the mural will be properly cared for on its trip south.

But will we ever see it again here in Greenwich? The Postal "Service" is in dire straits, running an enormous deficit which Tuesday's one-cent rise in rates will do nothing to alleviate. If it eventually implodes, what will happen to our mural?

The plan, as of yesterday, is to return it to Greenwich at some unknown date in the future, assuming a proper space can be found to display it. Lots of variables in that plan, which may mean that if the Town Fathers do not follow up and keep track of the mural's whereabouts, it may disappear into the maw of the Federal Government, to be warehoused, or lost, or stolen, or perhaps given to some political crony of the then-current administration.

Thus your scribe is somewhat skeptical that we will ever see the mural back in its native Town. Does anybody care? We should, you know; it is part of our artistic and cultural heritage. But who will follow up on this? Will Town Hall? Will Peter Malkin, the new owner of the Post Office building? Will the Historical Society, or the Historic District Commission, or the Greenwich Preservation Trust? Ideally, one would hope that they all take a hand in seeing that we are kept apprised of the mural's restoration status, its location, and the plans for its return to Greenwich. If this were to happen, there's at least an outside chance that someday we may in fact see our mural again.

Sunday, January 01, 2012

January 1, 2012

January 1, 2012 marks, unusually, the beginning of a new day, a new week, a new month, and a new year. Because it is a Sunday, some people will find themselves in church—an event which occurs only once every five years or so. Others will find themselves at the beach, where the polar bears rush into the water at Tod's Point at high noon to prove to themselves and the world how hardy they are. And some will probably spend much if not most of the day in bed, recovering from the excesses of the last day of 2011.

How one chooses to spend New Year's Day is a telling indicator of personality. My Uncle Jim used to cook a huge feast and invite all his relatives to his home in South Salem, NY. For him, there was no better way to start the year than with family. Many will watch football bowl games, cheering for teams that have become a sort of surrogate family, but to whom their ties are much more evanescent. In a few years, most of these fans will have forgotten what happened in those games. Not at all like the lasting memories my Uncle Jim used to create.

What will you do today, dear reader? At the start of a new year, we think we have a double heaping handful of days stretched out before us, with the lagniappe this year of an extra leap day. With such profusion ahead of us, does it really matter how we spend any particular day?

Again, the answer you give will tell you something about who you are. If you sleep till noon, then crawl down to the den to switch on the TV, your choice will lead you in one direction. If you get up at your normal time, take a hot shower, and go to church to give thanks and see friends, your life will tend in another direction. And if you get up early, take a cold shower, put on your swim togs, and head to the beach, you are clearly of another type altogether.

There are no right answers in life; there are only choices. This is the day (week/month/year) you have been given; how will you use it? The choice is yours. Happy 2012!