I’m madder than a Hansel and Gretel after those darn birds ate their trail of bread over the fact that sometimes when you’re alone and all by yourself, you get kind of scared, and if there is one thing the Screecher hates it’s being afraid.
Look, you all know the ol’Screecher has never been ascared of nothing, and I’ve always felt free to screech my mind at a moments notice, no matter the consequences. But as I get older, I find myself worried about somethings that, in the past, I would have never given a second thought.
So you wouldn’t have been surprised to see me shaking in my boots the other night when I was with my lovely wife Sharon watching an episode of “Scorpion” on Channel 2 on the Zenith in the living room.
Apparently, the Scorpion team was trying to save a boy on Christmas Eve who gets trapped in a beach-side cave where the rising tide threatens to drowned him. It was pure drama, with nerve wracking seconds being clocked as the 10-year old boy is trapped underwater for seven minutes and 10 seconds. The drama depictured the constant dangers and the problems of the cave sinking during the rescue effort, and the genius of the combined team to save the kids life, which it did. Bravo!
Not surprisingly, it reminded me not only of my days as a lifeguard at the Raven Hall pool in Coney Island, but also of my nine months cooped up in my sainted mother’s belly waiting for just one breath of fresh air! Talk about escaping in the nick of time!
Anyways, it also reminded me that sometimes our seniors are left all alone during the holidays and it I reminded myself to remind all of youse about the Annye Cohen and her mom Shayr’s Adopt-A-Senior program I trumpeted a few weeks back that was subsequently featured in a story by Channel 7’s Michelle Charlesworth, who apparently reads my column religiously just like each and ever ones of youse!
In case you missed it, I’ll recap it for you in the words of some of those “adopted” seniors who were featured on the television:
“I have never thought of a senior being adopted, and I feel so good about it,” said Mary Ann Harris-Mullet.
And then there’s this one:
“I felt abandoned,” said Eileen Kelly, who used to own a bar in Manhattan. “I had never realized it, because I’d always been around people, just people, people, people. Then all of a sudden I was by myself. It is frightening.”
Eileen gets so excited to get a pin or a red lipstick, while Roxine says she has seen her neighbors request and get something as simple as toothpaste.
“Something like toothpaste and toothbrush, how important it was to them, that’s so precious,” she said. “It’s for a lot of people that don’t have anybody, don’t have any friends come visit them, don’t have anybody, anything.”
Cohen, co-founder Bill Cowan, and their team do the shopping, wrapping and delivering.
“These ladies, they’re my family,” Cohen said. “I love them. We send them postcards when we go on vacation, we call them on their birthdays, we send them little gifts throughout the year.”
Face it, there are those that do and those that don’t, so lets hear it for the do-ers, because the others sit back, criticize, and complain that everybody else (but them) does anything about correcting the problem.
That brings me to our series of BWECC!’s list of do-gooders being honored at our 54th Gala on March 5 at El Caribe.
BWECC’S Humanitarian of the Year Nancy Tong, a Bensonhurst mom and community liaison at Assemblyman William Colton office is the first Asian-American elected official in Brooklyn and becomes the Female Democratic district leader of the 47th Assembly District. She also holds the title of New York Democratic State Committee woman.
Nancy immigrated from Hong Kong and grew up in Chinatown in Manhatan. She had lived in several different states before moving to Bensonhurst 12 years ago where she has constantly volunteered at her son’s schools over the years and eventually became a volunteer in Assemblyman William Colton’s office. Impressed by her dedication and work ethic, Colton hired her for a part-time position as a community liaison in his office.
Over the years, Nancy has worked on many issues such as senior citizen rent issues, helped businesses respond to tickets from the Department of Sanitation, assisted homeowners with tree root problems in dealing with city agencies. She volunteered for street clean-ups, helped educate parents about the rezoning of PS 97 and fought against the opening of the waste transfer station in Gravesend Bay. Sometimes Nancy operated like a social worker, many elderly came to the office for some comforting words from her.
“I truly enjoy helping people. It gives me great joy when I am able to help someone and make their life a little better or easier,” Tong said.
Nancy and I have interesting ties. We both graduated from PS 130 in what used to be Little Italy, only I graduated in 1949. Her husband Peter, son
Albert and me all graduated from Brooklyn Tech, me in 1953. I first met Nancy when she and her husband came to my famous tango classes nine years ago.
So join us in honoring this remarkable lady, mother, and mom!. For info on gala and reservations E-mail BWECC
Screech at you next week!