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As I See It

 

Ruth Sanford

 

 

 “Dear friends and lovers of Seaford” seems an appropriate citation for February 14, a day for asking a special blessing from St. Valentine upon those we love and care for. It is highly meant although it was written in October 1975 as part of an invitation to a plant-in  at the Long Island Rail Road Station, " a total community effort to make Seaford more beautiful” Along with it was a call to residents having places of business and private homes and churches and public buildings, " if you have a tiny patch of earth where you can plant a dozen tulips - or a hundred - we urge you to do it now in celebration of Seaford's 333rd and America's 200th birthday.

 

Like The Holidays”,  Valentine's Day is a time when one can both have and express warm feelings without fear of seeming sentimental. For me it calls up nostalgia with a touch of sadness and a very happy memory of being cherished and taken care of. I am writing this on February 12th, birthday of my mother and Abraham Lincoln; yesterday was the anniversary of her death and on Valentine's Day it will be 13 years since her body was buried as he wished in a tiny cemetery in Busti, New York where she grew from infancy to young womanhood. It was an appropriate day for us to say our final God-be- with-you; it was hard to say it in that spot for she always said, “I hate to be alone”. But once the shock of it was over I was able to feel that she was not left there, for three days earlier the part of her that we loved had taken flight - to where I do not know nor do I need to know. I know there is a bond of love between us.

 

Not that we never quarreled or had conflict. There were times of strong anger, deep hurt and sharp words about which I felt regret and guilt. More and more I am understanding and accepting - even valuing - as part of caring deeply and cherishing another person. Only yesterday this truth was again made real for me. I received and returned words of anger and impatience and hurt with a very close friend and colleague. When we took time to talk very openly about what happened between us we found of friendship deepened and ourselves reaffirmed. The feelings and the words were so strong because we really cared each for the other. We can enough to use them for deeper understanding and acceptance - hard words and all!

 

So I come to some very strong feelings and some strong words worthy of them about my town, for I among many am a friend and lover of Seaford.

 

I am very angry about the destruction of trees planted along our new and in many ways beautiful Merrick Road. My anger all boils up whenever I walk on the south side of the street from Washington Avenue to Jackson Avenue and see the poor mutilated stumps in front of Sequa, Granny’s Attic, Leon’s and across the , Pizza place, where once were young trees full of promise and shiny green leaves and white spring blossom. My anger is reinforced and fed by the number of merchants and residents of spoken to me about the destruction and their concern and anger. I too am angry at the barbarians who twisted or cut them off at their roots. It had to be deliberate.

 

The general assumption is that they were young people who came to our downtown to have fun. I hope none of them were” responsible adults” who live or work here, but I don't know. Whoever you are, I hope you hear and heed. And I hope that anyone who feels this anger will be willing to put it in writing and address it to me here or to a member of the Chamber of Commerce. With this kind of support we can use some of  our time and effort to seek a solution together.

 

I also feel anger when I see trash thrown or blowing about, seats torn out of the Railroad Station, fences deliberately or carelessly broken and left unrepaired. Anger, unused, consumes and turns to ashes. I, a friend and lover of Seaford, care too much to permit such waste of precious energy

 

How use it? I don't know but I trust that many of us, together, can find a way.

 

This is our town.