Archive for the ‘Woodbourne’ Category

Butts and Bins

March 26th, 2009

smoldering cigarette ashI used to smoke cigarettes. While I haven’t had one in 30 years, as a newspaper reporter and magazine writer, I smoke a lot of them — 40 or more a day.

That came to mind today as my wife and I drove home. The garbage guys has been by and as usual, they flung the plastic can in our parking space in front of the house.

We’ve long gotten over having to move the gigantic recycling bin and one or more trash cans to leave or return. What struck me was what commodities the cans they are to the guys in the big trucks.

trash canOf course, the can go willy-nilly. They are the cigarette butts of the trash folk.

I remember when most people smoked and how easy it was to be casual with the butts, the matches, the packages. If I knew a smoker, I would say to pick up the crap, but that kind of littering was so common.

As a smoker of non-filter cigarettes (Camels), I got to feel a little irrational superiority. I grew up in a home where any littering was unacceptable, no single gum wrapper and no butt even in a storm drain. There were street trash bins or your pocket for that. My mother even carried a silent butler, a little lidded case for her butts.

I took a peculiar if small pride in field stripping my used Camel butts. Wadding and rolling the paper in to a ball made for an easily disposable dot. Moreover, if it ended up on the grass, it biodegraded and dissolved quickly. The little bit of tobacco itself actually was fine for grass and soil, adding tiny nutrients and no bad chemicals. Mostly though, I made sure they were dead and put them in an ashtray or trash can. When my car ashtrays were full, their contents went into garbage and never on the street.

I kept company with various women, all of whom smoked filter cigarettes. I’d insist that they not flick the butts out a window or onto the street. I must have been a pest.

In terms of crimes against the environment and public health, I was not the worst sinner. However, in retrospect, all smokers, which was the majority of American society, were guilty enough. We didn’t know from second-hand smoke then, but oh, the mess.

So today, seeing the can again sprawled in the parking space, I can project into the pickup guy. It was just another can of hundreds that day. It was just a lid to fling left and the can to toss kind of toward the curb. They were the butts of his morning.

Tags: , , ,

Thumping Like Mildred

March 20th, 2009

Woe to the underpaid black women or those from India if they had their underclothes at their ankles when the thumping closed in on them. At the Fight for Sight (National Council to Combat Blindness), that meant all-powerful Mildred was on the way. When she had to go, the bathroom had better be empty and unlocked!

It was in the early 1970s that I did a brief stint there working for founder Mildred Weisenfeld. We can say of her as A.A. Milne wrote of King John, “King John was not a good man — He had his little ways.”Well, Mildred had many foibles, several of which I saw and heard of in my short time with her in New York City.

AircastOddly enough, it was the sounds of walking with my Aircast (that looks like part of a Star Wars stormtrooper) on my left leg that brought it back. We have 13 uncarpeted wooden stairs between the ground and second floor here. The closest lavatory is on the second, as is bedroom. Climbing with the crutches, I suddenly recalled the thumping sounds on the way to to the john.

Mildred, it seems, was a knockout young woman. The way I heard the story from long-term employees was that she discovered she had retinitis pigmentosa, a blinding disease. It was a Hollywood script — a surgeon told her an operation might cure her or might blind her. She eagerly risked it rather than accept a slow descent into absolute darkness.

The ending, however, lacked the swelling, hopeful music. She emerged blind.

Of course, the sequel movie would have her coping with her new state. She’d use a guide dog or white cane or both, remastering the world in which she found herself.

That too wasn’t the way it worked. She married a rich man (also blinded by the same disease) and wasn’t about to use props of hoi polloi disabled folk. Instead:

  • She used servants at home to care for her all day and night.
  • Her chauffeur ferried her to and from work, leading her to and from the office, as well as waiting for her secretary’s calls.
  • She didn’t know from light or dark, but preferred to travel at low-traffic times. So, the entire office was an M.T., Mildred Time, about noon to 8 or 9 p.m.
  • There was one woman’s room down a long corridor from her office. Because she did not use a cane or dog, she simply felt her way down the hall, thumping on the wall all the way until she found the door.
  • The women took getting yelled at for using the toilet at the wrong time because Mildred liked to hire people she felt really needed jobs, ones willing to take low pay and a bunch of grief. In other words, we all were her servants too.
  • For years, she insisted on sighing all the Fight for Sight checks. That stopped when a crooked bookkeeper had her sign large amounts to him, which he diverted to his new South American home.

She did, however, found the Fight for Sight in 1946. According to her 1997 NYTimes obit, she wed in 1956, was widowed in 1967, and remained as chief fund-raiser until a year before her death.

Coincidentally, the Fight for Sight appears moribund. The state lists it as an active not-for-profit, but its website has not been updated in over two years and there is no news of it on searches. It seems to have been a middlingly effective group, which had its best years in the 1950 through 70s. It seems to have raised and distributed over $13 million for eye research by her death and paid out about $400,000 a year in grants.

That’s good, but not great, by the standards of high-powered health-based charities. Considering Mildred’s focus, this is expected. Her year focused on the annual Lights On benefit, which brought in the majority of new funds. She had been organizing these from 1949, when Milton Berle agreed to emcee the first one.

Young MildredI was not there long enough to attend one of these bashes. The long-time employees had lots of stories though. Columnist Earl Wilson loved this event and flogged it relentlessly before and after each one. There was the charity aspect, but for both Wilson and Weisenfeld, it was a stage full of stars. Most of the stars were Jewish, which I heard was Mildred’s strong preference.

The top tier of Jewish singers and comedians were fair game. The old timers there said she was brutal in cajoling or shaming them into performing.

Her methods and style aside, she did fund research. She also led to eye clinics and the like. Her organization did outlive her, by at least a decade. She also arranged eye-disease and research testimony before Congress and spoke herself (1950 in the Truman administration).

She had her little ways though.

The bookkeeper/checks story could be funny and sounds like jokes blind friends of mine might tell on themselves. The thumping to the loo tale was funny too — to everyone except the poor woman stuck in the room at the wrong time.

Tags: , , , , , ,

Three Lads Making Dinner

March 14th, 2009

This being on crutches thing has some odd benefits. Today, I choreographed number two (in college) and number three (still home) sons in cuisine. Number three (the adult on his own) came for dinner and arrived in time to finish up the chapatis.

I can do a modest, very modest, amount in the kitchen. That’s hard on an old cooky who is used to making multiple dishes at a time. Not being able to carry food in transition from sink to stove, not being able to stand and stir, and not being able to do much at all is at best frustrating.

Today though, I was the choreographer, while two and three made a fairly elaborate Indian meal for the family.

Number two is seven hours away at college. He has minimal cookware for the shared dorm kitchen. His one pot/one pan set reminds me of my early bachelor years.

He asked for recipes and particularly for Indian food. I am amused when the invariable question when someone hears that I am the primary cook here is “What kind of food do you cook — Italian? Chinese?” It’s the rare type that I don’t know and cook. For some reason the guys have always enjoyed the Indian meals, even after the steaming thrill of poori is gone.

However, it remains a bit challenging to climb into the WABAC machine and plan for limited tools and ingredients. However, I ran through the essentials and produced simplified instructions for:

  • Banana and coconut-milk curry for shrimp or chicken
  • Tomato-based curry for chicken or beef
  • Dry vegetables (alu mattar)
  • Vegetable curry
  • Chapati

In consideration of limited herbs and spices, ease and speed of preparation, and some resulting wow factor for guests, I reduced them to the basics. As a side effect, this made my guy-on-crutches choreography simple as well.

cooks.jpgNumber two and three were eager to learn a bit and be able to claim they made the whole meal. When each one had his own dishes to prepare, their usual competitiveness turned into focus on the food at hand.

In a way, it was like having four hands. It is certainly simpler to instruct two people simultaneously and see the work done from a distance. Today included the tomato-based curried chicken, alu mattar, chapati, papadum, green pepper raita, rice and some jars of chutneys and pickle.

My two-legged, stand-for-long-periods self would have no trouble doing it all and probably more quickly. However, that person is in the past and future. The current version needed and appreciated surrogate chefs.

This turned out to be a good test run for the minimized recipes for number two. The entrées did in fact work well, taste fine, and look attractive. I am sure they would have been better with my fuller set of ingredients, but they are what I intended. They are something a college student can shop for and prepare in a starter kitchen.

I have been teaching two and three for some time. This was a satisfying show of their confidence and competence. Neither had cooked these dishes before and both did superbly, both when things were obvious and when they needed instructions and tips.

This is not in that class of attending your own memorial service, but it was comforting to see another generation of family cooks. Three lads talking food, chopping, sautéing, spicing, and tasting was my Johnny Appleseed moment today. It’s enough to make me click my heels if I could do that.

Churching at Home

March 1st, 2009

Quiet and discomforted in my bed last evening, I fully recalled those loud adult functions of my youth. Adults downstairs laughed and shouted at volumes that would have gotten us kids punished, while we were upstairs in the covers with our books and reading lamps.

church in a cottage

Church came to me and I was unable to meet it full on. I had overextended myself with the walker and crutches…plus, there were so many of them (16) and they were so loud.

In the new UU-style canvass dinner system some use, the pledging units do an elaborate potluck at a private house, get a tiny bit juiced, talk about what that church means to them, and leave with their pledge cards. Bonhomie brings beneficence (without the hard sell), the theory goes

I did put in a cameo, waiting until everyone arrived and successfully thumping down the 13 stairs on a crutch and the rail, knowing the crowd drowned the thuds. I chatted for awhile and didn’t have to detail the nastiness of the breaks or surgery — subjects that bore and irritate me from the repetition. I couldn’t join in the wine, because of medication, and would fallen behind the happier swillers as well.

The grouping included only a couple of men and was largely lesbian couples. I had known several of those sets from a previous UU church we shared in downtown Boston. No one was a stranger to me and in a little better health, I would have enjoyed the banter.

Several of my lesbian friends have remarked to me how loud they often are, particularly as a couple. In friendly environments as our house with peers, religious and political, around, they fairly burst with exclamation.


 Bonhomie brings beneficence

Taking my leave and upstairs in either my office or my bed, I could muse on nearly four hours of the happy noises. I have a vague recollection of a BBC Mystery series written by a woman who remarked on the high-pitched din in a women’s school dining hall. She compared them to strident birds (starlings or grackles as I recall) and wondered why women sounded so loud and unpleasant.

Here it was not nasty though. I am sure had it been many men, straight or gay, the sounds would have been deeper and more muted, but they likely would have also included competitive posturing. I’ll take the women talking all over each other in affirming cacophony.

I was so beaten up by pushing myself around the two floors that I did manage a half-hour nap. The bedroom door was open, yet I dozed. I looked at the black-on-lime clock display on waking and wondered how my brain could accommodate the noise. We humans may not be all that evolved, but in many ways we live our little miracles.

Surely if church was as enlivened as cottage dinners, this congregation would double. Such a prolonged happy exchange speaks well of the fellowship of those you know, but not all that well, yet are jolly enough with. Church coming to the house is not bad at all.

Skiers as Hood Ornaments

January 20th, 2009

Forest Hills Cemetery as ski resortOne of our in-town ski resorts may require stealth access. From Woodbourne, we are within walking distance of three undesignated cross-country ski areas — Franklin Park’s Devine golf course, the Arnold Arboretum and Forest Hills Cemetery.

The city owns the golf course and the dirt and roads of the arboretum (the plants belong to Harvard), but the graveyard has been private since it opened in 1848. However, FH is the second U.S. garden cemetery, meant for more than corpse storage. Unlike the nearby necropolises, St. Michael and Mt. Hope, FH was a park from the beginning, meant for contemplation, passive recreation and such human bonding as picnicking. It is also a sculpture garden with works by some of the nation’s most noted stone cutters and metal artists.

Pic Click Trick: Click on the thumbnail for a larger view or see a few more here.

For a quick spin, we’ve skied in FH for many years. The arboretum can seem like 128, with all its Brooklinites and surburban types unloading from their SUVs. The golf course is farther, but definitely less crowded and equally as rural in the snow. FH is right there and when the sidewalks haven’t been cleared, it’s an easy ski from Woodbourne, no car needed or wanted.

(Cue threatening music.) A couple of snows ago over the end-of-year holidays, we got the bum’s rush from a control-freak security guard. He wanted us to leave and not bring our skis back. The snowshoers, cars, trucks and bikes were okay, but no ski, no way.

He insisted skiing was forbidden, not passive recreation (did he think they had tiny motors hidden underneath?). We skied around and avoided him, but he looks like trouble.

Judgmentally, I figure him to be ex-military, but Army and not Marine from his unkempt sideburns. He was definitely a rules-are-rules type who will take charge until there is a superior officer at hand.

I can’t say I was amazed after several conversations along that line with a neighbor who has spent his career working there. He says when the crew puts the snowplows on its Jeeps, the operators hate cross-country skiers. The running joke over there is that cross-country skiers make nice hood ornaments.

We can set aside that:

  • No skier has ever been hit or run into a Jeep or caused any accident.
  • The cemetery has lots of traffic — motor vehicles, walkers, runners, dog people, cyclists.
  • Anyone operating a plow has open vistas making it easy to see any of those visitors well in advance.
  • Skiers there all seems to pay attention and there’s next to nowhere that a hill would let a skier travel fast onto a road.
  • Unleashed dogs are far more common and more likely to cause problems than a couple of skiers.

The point is that the employee folklore disses skiers. FH management would be stupid to ban skiers. After all, they are in the business of marketing their plots, which includes keeping FH a pleasant place to spend time, maybe a very long time.

We may have run across the one sour guardian. Alternately the perceived wisdom of occasional plowers may bubble up to the FH office. TBD

Tags: , , , ,

Bunyon of Bournedale

December 22nd, 2008

I’m not sure which curse is appropriate. The snowplow guy mentioned before outdid himself overnight. He needs attention from Nemesis.

It took two of us in concert for over an hour with serious tools to override him. Although we shoveled several times yesterday — including doing the nice thing for the neighbor who can’t on his own — and wrapped up around six. Our walks were merely dusted and both cars were totally clear down to the asphalt and concrete all around.

The plow demon came sometime at night and must have pushed the barrels of snow, ice and slush a considerable distance to build a wall against both car and van. It was as solid as cinder blocks and two times as high.

Neither heavy plastic, nor aluminum nor steel shovels could cut into the wall. My wife had must-do shopping that would require a vehicle to carry. So…

Fortunately, I keep a wood maul in the basement for splitting logs. Swung wide or tamped from high repeatedly, it was tough enough to break the surface of the ice and give the shovels a chance at scooping. This was slow and required repeated applications of the hunk o’ steel.

As previously, the other side of the street got no plow leavings. As previously, we were on the side of the street where people are supposed to park according to the city. Even though the snow emergency was officially over,  we thought the punishment for us might stop.

Instead, we are left wondering whether plowboy is so stupid that he doesn’t realize that continuing to pile up snow and ice against cars will strand them, or is so blissed by his joy of machinery that he doesn’t think of it, or is a cackling nasty. The glimpses I’ve caught of him reveal nothing other than he looks disturbingly like Ernest Borgnine.

We solved our problem this morning and am sorer for doing so. We were left wondering what people without lumberjack tools would do to escape.

Now, I can think of Nemesis. What is the appropriate curse for such repetitive evil? There is no Tick to reprimand him. Yet, justice would demand that he be likewise stranded and forced to deal with it by hand.

We can curse him to be on a ski trip and get snowplowed in the driveway on the 11-degree morning when he has to leave to return to work. No one would be there to help, the drive entrance would have many feet high and wide of solid ice and snow, and he a shovel and a pressing need to use it.

I’d even relax the curse enough to let him find a maul in the garage.

Tags: , , , , ,

Snow Joke, Plowboy

December 20th, 2008

oddside.jpgThose laugh a minute, no, five laughs per minute, Boston snowplow guys clearly make their job fun. When they aren’t playing Hide the Hydrant, they make the most of what would otherwise be tedious work.

Here in our very unbusy Woodbourne, we could be more boring…if there weren’t little jokes. A good running routine seem to be burying cars on one side of the street — the side the city says to park on during a snow emergency.

These pix show the punchline. We are supposed to park on even-numbered sides of our streets. In the image on the left, after the plow swipes the odd side has maybe five inches of unpacked snow. On the right, cars on the legal side of the street are dammed in nearly three feet of packed snow and ice mashed against the cars up to two and one half feet wide.


Ha ha ha ha. That’ll teach them to park where we told them. Ha ha.

We hardly qualify as secondary streets. It’s all single-family houses. There are many more on-street spaces than cars. We don’t even rate neighborhood parking signs or stickers. We’re too far from commuter rail and subway lines to tempt non-residents.

In theory, the plowboys may be unaware of where cars are supposed to park (unlikely, eh?). Perhaps they need a remedial lesson on how to know whether a house number is odd or even (the stereotype might support that for public school grads).

These pix were on a long, single-block street. The driver would have to drive West to be nice to the cars parked on the even side of the street.  That never happens. It would ruin the joke.

Tags: , , , , ,

Miracle on Bourne Street

December 15th, 2008

…a very little miracle…

The signage elves came this morning. Six days after requesting a constituent service from my city councilor, it was done.

We had driving rain for two days and bitter cold for several others. Yet, my little miracle happened.

I am new to this and am impressed by John Tobin and Anna Sylvester’s work. I might conclude that he gets things done. I might also conclude that I should occasionally ask for the easily achievable. Probably both are right.

I am wont here and on other blogs to speak for high-minded and expansive aims, for righting big wrongs. I think a stop-sign replacement holds a lesson for me.

The short of this includes:

  • A couple of years ago, some driver sheared the stop sign post.
  • Rather than do the right thing, the city crew put the old sign on the street-sign pole at Bourne and Walk Hill Streets.
  • The stop sign was then obscured by the fence until Northbound drivers on busy Bourne Street were literally on it. They stopped in the intersection, blocking it and stranding left turning cars and bikes facing Walk Hill traffic bearing on them.
  • Seeing Councilor Tobin for his coffee-shop hours, I asked on the way out what city agency I should ask for a replacement.
  • He said he and his aide would do it.
  • They did.

sign.jpgI guess they came from good stock too. Sylvester sent me email saying she had requested a replacement post back 15 feet from Walk Hill were the old one was. She also mailed a hand-written note saying it was in the works. Also Councilor Tobin and I swapped a couple of short emails.

Seeing local cynics, particularly in the Herald,  I wondered whether this would become an amusing avocation. I planned to report on the progress and when the crew finally showed to photograph them and see how long it took.

Well, that’s not going to happen. Howie Carr or those other old rich kids masquerading as working-class champions aside, I rolled up Bourne this morning to see the new sign in the old place.

I watched five motor vehicles. They all did the typical Boston stop — that is rolling half a length past the stop-sign before stopping. However, because the sign is a car-length back from Walk Hill, they weren’t actually blocking people turning and were safer in spite of themselves.

I had asked for a stop line, which Sylvester said she’d request. I’m sure that would be part of a batch job when a crew is out re-striping around here next.

That would be another visual cue to stop short of where moms with strollers walk and old men such as I bike. In concert, the sign is now visible two blocks away, no longer hidden by  the privacy fence.

I view this like when I taught swimming. We learned to tell beginners to keep their legs straight in the flutter kick. The best kick is really slightly bent legged, but say that and most people would practically put their heels in the middle of their backs. It’s better to use a little trick and end up with the right thing. Likewise, a stop sign 15 feet before the street gives people the sense they are on the edge in half-way passing the sign when they are where you want them.

So, there’s no tale of a negligent Councilor. There are no absentee public works employees. There’s nothing but good to report.

Tags: , , , , , ,

Visiting My Councilor

December 9th, 2008

John Tobin CD symbolThis is a test of your Elected Official Effectiveness System. Will Boston City Councilor John Tobin (WR/JP) make my intersection safe? If so, how quickly? What’s a reasonable period for replacing a sheared stop-sign post — a season, a month, a week?

I didn’t really mean to put him on the spot. That came as a throwaway question at the end of a session with him at JP Licks. When I asked where in City Hall I’d go to ask for this, he said “We’ll do that.” In that case, joining him in the booth was Legislative Aide Anna Sylvester, to make a we.

Here, I say:

  • Tobin is high-energy, deep integrity. I expect him to do what he says.
  • If your city councilor (or equivalent where you vote) holds regular open office hours, go from time to time.
  • If your officials don’t, ask them why and point to folk like John Tobin as examples.

Almost every month, my guy has two open sessions. One is at his West Roxbury office and the other floats from coffee shop or ice-cream joint, generally in JP. That way, he is close to both neighborhoods in his district. He announces them in the local weeklies as well as on his personal website. By the bye, you can also trundle down to his City Hall office, nominally from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., five days, but call first because he may be doing Council biz elsewhere.

Pix Tricks: Click on a thumbnail for a larger view. If this opens in the same browser window, use the browser back button to return.

He may or may not get takers at a session, but he’s there.When you’re there, you’re the only person he sees in front of him. That’s the right kind of intense.

This morning, there were two of us, with an elderly woman as well as I. I would gladly have shared the booth with her, but she waited until I finished. Perhaps she came with a specific request she wanted to deliver privately.

One of these open meetings a year ago is where I chatted him up and got him to come onto our Left Ahead! podcast. The full one of that is here and the short version concentrating on his term-limits for Boston officials is here.

We had a free-ranging chat today because I didn’t come with any planned business. We touched on the status of his citywide Wi-Fi proposal (he’s still pushing and sees it as an equalizer for poor families and kids), arrested-for-corruption Councilor Chuck Turner (they got off to a bad start, but Turner ended up supporting his run for Council president later, and Tobin wants Turner to have his say/day in court), and why he seems to have a ton more ideas and proposals than the other councilors (he modestly claims most come directly from activist JP residents).

When I finally realized the woman had sneaked into the booth behind me and was waiting for her audience, I fired off the stop sign question to wrap up. He promised and Sylvester took the intersection info. I’ll update here.

As background, this must be like many requests councilors get. It is a simple matter, but one that affects pubic safety. The basics are:

  • The stop sign at Bourne and Walk Hill Streets is on the street-sign pole.
  • The stop-sign post had been sheared and some easy-way-out crew moved the sign.Misplaced stop sign
  • The octagon  is 14 shoe lengths (roughly 15 feet or a car length) north of where it should be and was. (The red arrow on the sign pic shows where the pole used to be.)
  • The adjacent property fence obscures the sign until a north-bound vehicle is nearly at Walk Hill.

Cars race up Bourne and with typical Boston manners, stop just past the sign. That puts the front several feet of the vehicle into Walk Hill.

Any vehicle, but particularly bicycles, turning left onto Bourne, often find themselves stranded in mid turn by a car or truck blocking the intersection. If the stop sign was where it belonged, the tendency for drivers to go beyond it to stop would put them a safe distance back.

typical non-stop at Walk HillThe car  in the image to the left is still moving. It is in the typical place at the intersection, with bumper into Walk Hill and blocking turning vehicles. The suddenness of the stops here are particularly dangerous for pedestrians and cyclists simultaneously approaching the corner. Both Walk Hill and Bourne are very busy, so such coincidence is common.

More than once, I have almost been hit on my bike and stopped to point out the problem to the drivers. I know what to expect and am always cautious here, in car or on bike. Two of those times, homemaker types in newish SUVs have sworn at me in very coarse terms. The out-of-my-way-Jack and I’m-important-no-one-else-is types need their visual cues to act decently.

It will be far easier to install a new pole in the old place than to teach locals what their parents didn’t model or say. I’ll update this when the mini-drama plays out.

Tags: , , , , , ,

Alas, Poor Forest Hills

August 21st, 2008

No longer…

The Walk Hill Gate of the Forest Hills Cemetery has been open for the past two days. Considering that the office staff figured it would be a couple of weeks after the bronze thefts from a mausoleum and the sculpture collection before we could enter there, that’s good news.

What’s not good is that anyone would steal from a cemetery (kind of puts the ephemeral in perpetual care as it were). Moreover, that such nogoodniks would take part of tombs is horrific.

Local The Bulletin papers carried the story on today’s edition.  They verify that there’s a $2,000 reward for info leading to recovery of the pieces. We can hope that the publicity 1) would make the thieves rethink the risk and dump the pieces where the cops can find them, 2) that the notoriety inspires any fence or antiques dealer to turn the loot over and report the perps, or 3) that whatever vestige of morality the thief or thieves have kicks in, leading them to bring the spoils back to this gorgeous garden of the dead.

We abutters who use Forest Hills as our park, for our recreation, for our edification through their programs, and with an eye for it as our final resting/rotting places are aghast. Stealing from the dead! Stealing public art!

Yet, in keeping with the staff’s thought that the rising prices of bronze and brass prompted these thefts, USA Today ran a feature reporting just that.  They cite cases in Chicago, Maryland and Delaware — mausoleum gates, urns, ornaments and memorial plates, all gone.

Some thieves tuck these into bins of bronze or brass. Others try to pass them off as folk art instead of what they are. The trade association the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries urges its members to record all transactions with ID, refuse clearly stolen material, and work with the police.  One of the successes it cites is a Fort Wayne company whose efforts led to 161 arrests.

I miss the Garden’s Edge bunny and am sorely sorry that the unique (not from casting) Seated Ceres is gone.  May they be home to my neighborhood soon.