Helping with the big dig My Story

| 25 Jan 2016 | 12:07

About those “worth a thousand words” photos, well much as I love the look of snow, and “nature appreciation,” it’s not those scenes we need to “get out” there nearly as much as people helping others in this Big Snow and now the massive dig out. (Of course we need photos of people helping people in general and not only in emergency situations.)

My neighbors Susan E. and Susan S. photographed this all too typical one man “dig out” - removing a veritable mountain of snow from his car parked on East End Avenue. Four hours later, there’s still a way to go.

Gristedes always helps outAnd you think of all the able-bodied people living all around him and how we are so conditioned not to offer a helping hand. Susan E. also photographed Gristedes longtime co-manager Joe shoveling out the 81st and East End crosswalk entrances. I might add that Joe and co-manager, Ellen, and other longtime staff, always go the second mile for their customers and the neighborhood. And as most locals know, the six-story rental apartment building which also houses an open for breakfast, lunch and dinner restaurant, has been sold…if ever protests were needed to stop what many of us feel are unnatural disasters, disastrously affecting all five boroughs but especially the Upper East Side with the advent of a Second Avenue Subway.

Kids help with the dig-out etceteraSort of got sidetracked, didn’t I, but it’s always on my mind, along with the employees of the endangered small stores and eateries which meet our everyday needs.

But to stay with the shared Big Snow dig-out, I have a dream where say, those early teen boys who do skateboard stunts on the sidewalk instead of the park, would pick up a shovel and help the great dig out. Say, such thoughtful actions might help their acceptance at the school of their choice. But that’s rather cynical when so little in today’s culture is about “helping one another,” and so overwhelmingly much is about “selfie” devices and devotions. Dare I also say “sports”?

Emergency quarters neededAgain, I got sidetracked, but it does relate. And during the storm I was reminded how most apartment house staff members don’t live in Manhattan, and how their work places should have comfortable quarters for them to bunk in times of need. These people who do so much to make life safe, secure and neighborly for their residents, especially, but not only elder ones living alone, could not be more deserving. This also

applies to those who have long worked, but don’t live in the nabe, like home-care workers and housekeepers, and longtime neighborhood store staffs like those at East End Gristedes – quarters might be found for them as well.

Lessons for everyday times I might add that the Big Storm made many TV stations fit to watch, you get the picture. And there are so many lessons for everyday times to adopt. Maybe first, we must remind the electeds and wannabees about neighbors helping one another so basic a need, and not only in emergency times. (Their most needed emergency advice did speak to that). I’d vote for anyone who…

And those related photos need to get out there. It can be done if enough of us try.