Thursday, September 9, 2010


On my way to grab coffee the other morning, I walked through Touro Park. There's always the great (internal) debate: Which way to walk around the tower? Clockwise or counter-clockwise? And which way around the flag pole? The same way, or the other way? Better to be consistent, or to mix it up? Then there's the debate about the tower itself (the "Old Stone Mill"): Who built it? When? And why? A new museum — The Tower Museum, at the top of Mill Street (appropriately named) — entertains the latter questions. I've seen the proprietor/curator engaging visitors with potential answers all summer long.

Anyway, back to the quest — the coffee quest. As I headed up the hill, a youngster was riding his bike around the tower. Round and round and round. His sister, still on training wheels, was less willing. She'd disembarked. "Dad" looked on. And there was just something cool about it: all that young energy, happy and sad, around that old structure.

Then, on my way home, energy (caffeine) in-hand, there was a different-if-similar scene: two young boys on skateboards rolling around the tower, again with "Dad" looking on. He occupied the one black bench that currently sits by the tower; the old green wooden ones were removed when the sidewalks were replaced. And it got me thinking a little further along the same lines: about everything that had been seen in the park over the years. Not by me, not by the dad, not by that relatively-new-if-quasi-historic-looking bench, but by the tower.

How much it had stood through: time-wise, history-wise, mystery-wise.
How much it had withstood, if you will ...

Then, wouldn't you know?? Later that same day, someone was playing (practicing?) the bells at Channing, on the other side of the park. It wasn't Sunday, i.e. there was no congregation, around that lone bench or otherwise. But it was a tune I recognized — I'm pretty sure anyone would recognize it — and it really fit the scene ...


N.B. The bells play for a half-hour-or-so every Sunday morning at 9:30. Or they have been all summer. Anywhere in the park is prime listening ...