I was working in my garden this morning. Enjoying the peace. Appreciating the vegetables and flowers. Hoping the neighbors enjoy watching them grow as much as I do. The efforts were not demanding, so …
I was working in my garden this morning. Enjoying the peace. Appreciating the vegetables and flowers. Hoping the neighbors enjoy watching them grow as much as I do. The efforts were not demanding, so I had time to look around.
Ed Kraus walked by, as he does every morning on his constitutional. The Water Department truck passed by. Matt Nolen was working in his studio. Kelly Dean and his dogs Freddie and Frankie stopped to chat with Ed. I prayed my dogs wouldn’t start barking and disturb the peace yet again.
Community, and in turn history.
There are markers of it everywhere if you slow down to look. The Peck Memorial Garden. Krause Hall at the DVAA, in the building named after co-founder Elaine Giguere. The mural honoring local soldiers at Pete’s Market. The Laundrette Restaurant, named after the building’s former function as a launderette.
We can all celebrate our community and the heroes who have contributed to it on Sunday, May 28 at 2 p.m. during the 2023 Memorial Day Non-Denominational Service at the TMR Baptist Church, five miles south of Narrowsburg, off Route 97. A beautiful, historic setting perfect for thanking the fallen for their service.
This year the service will be followed by the dedication of a bench in honor of a man who exemplified community: Glenn Swendsen.
Glenn was a former highway supervisor. Up until his passing, he tended public properties including our parks, cemeteries and the Baptist Church site, where his bench will be located.
So involved was Glenn with our community that there was spirited debate about exactly where his bench, procured thanks to the efforts of Brandi Merolla, should be installed.
In the end, his wife Julie chose the site as one for which Glenn had a special affinity. Rumor has it he even had a friendship or two with friendly spirits, including a Civil War soldier buried on the grounds. Glenn going about his business as always, making friends in whichever realm they were to be made.
Kathleen Johnson, owner of Narrowsburg Motors and board member of the Tusten Settlement Association and Tusten Social had this to say about him: “Glenn was a kind, humble, caring human being. The kind of guy that would do anything for anyone, not because he had to, but because he wanted to out of the kindness of his heart. Personally, we were always grateful for everything Glenn did for us and his friendship.”
She added, “The Tusten Settlement Association is grateful for the efforts he put in to maintain the property and his involvement with the association.”
And so, Glenn shall be memorialized with a bench overlooking the grounds he lovingly maintained. Wonderfully perfect. May those who use it take time to reflect on and find inspiration from the example of community he leaves behind.
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