Searching for COnnection My Story

| 21 Mar 2016 | 12:42

The original ‘Senior Concerns’ Our Town columnist, Barry Coyne, always warned on major holidays how “this must not be one day of remembering in a year of forgetting!” It’s a phrase I’ve used ever since. Barry, a man of about 60, and I think a professional social worker, always hoped the event would produce more enabling connections. And this came to mind at Our Town’s OTTY Awards event that when award winner Archbishop Timothy Dolan learned that award winner Harris Healy’s Logos Book Store was “the only NYC Christian book store,” he would go all out to support it. Heaven knows, book stores need supporting.

For the general public, I hasten to add, Logos’ books include those of other faiths and philosophies, and most of the stock is of the secular, if not the sensational kind. There are CD’s and gracious small gifts and greeting cards. It also stocks this community newspaper. Plus there are community events, a Monday morning children’s story hour and a monthly Kill Your TV book reading and discussion event, and much more. Some of us care that it’s also architecturally nurturing with high ceilings and walls covered with dark wood book shelves. (The lights could use some toning down, though - a subject for a regular column, For redemptive lighting, wattage must be reduced, and any “efficients” must be the warm-white kind. That goes for places of worship, healing, working, learning, street lights (!), and especially at home, including shelters for those without homes.)

Are you still with me? And speaking of redemption, of course, it’s Easter week, but this year it’s not so easy for some Catholics to be joyful with their churches closed or merged. But to my knowledge, Our Lady of Peace on East 62nd between Second and Third still hopes the Vatican will reopen this century-old church, which was financially self-supporting and very well-attended. And unlike the new church to which it’s assigned, its ambience is traditionally subdued and spiritual.

And so admirably, some of its faithful members reportedly still hold a daily 6 p.m. informal service outside the church. Maybe even non-Christians and non-believers will want to join them sometimes or/and support them.

In general, though, maybe all us faith group members need to be a little more caring of one another, and not only for the most obvious elder members who too often are only remembered on holy days with a holiday plant delivered to their home. Not very redemptive.

But back to the Our Town Thanks You Awards, may not only the archbishop of the honorees connect with one another beyond the event. May they all work together on maybe, above all, saving small neighborhood businesses that meet everyday needs – that make a caring community. That is truly redemptive.

Ah, and many there were not honorees but they surely do serve the community. But some were absent this year, like former honoree, Loretta Ponticello, whom I only later learned was temporarily disabled by a fall. Oh, yes, Harris Healy’s mother was able to attend thanks to her son, a wheeled walker device and a home care aide. But I missed Matilda Cuomo, another OTTY Award winner, now sadly widowed and rarely if ever seen in the news or with her son Andrew.

Well, to close on a more redemptive note, a musical one, this shy-talker columnist most wholeheartedly welcomed the live piano music played at the OTTY event’s reception time. Awards galore to the pianist for playing that most redemptive of popular music, the American standards. But please consider their lyrics often also apply to family and friendship love, like, “I’ll be Loving You Always.” Hey, and don’t let me be the only one singing along!