By Phyllis J. Lubin
“When does summer start?” Yussie asked the other day when I had come in from shoveling the walkway.
“You know when summer starts Yuss–in June.”
“It’s June now! Summertime!” Yussie announced with a big smile on his face.
It’s cold out. It’s not just cold outside–it’s freezing cold outside.
Yosef doesn’t enjoy the cold weather. ANCHOR swimming at Echo Park is on hiatus until the springtime, and taking a walk to the Andrew J. Parise Cedarhurst Park is not much fun in the cold weather.
Speaking of the Andrew J. Parise Park in Cedarhurst prompts me to think of the wonderful mayor of our village who, sadly, passed away last week. The freezing temperatures did not prevent the outpouring of his friends, neighbors, and constituents from braving the weather to come out to listen to the words eulogizing this great man at St. Joachim’s Church this past Friday. A heated tent was set up outside the church so that all of the community could hear the wonderful accolades for our great mayor.
He was certainly a father figure to all of us who had the good fortune to meet him. As Paula, a friend of mine from Cedarhurst, related to me, “He was here to help all of us. When I had a problem with the snow being cleared off my street, he made sure to follow up personally to make sure everything was OK.”
After the service, we followed the hearse along Central Avenue and stopped in front of the Levi Yitzchak Library–a place that the mayor supported. As we were walking in the bitter cold along the avenue, I couldn’t help but think of the Memorial Day parades that would run along a similar path–paying homage to the veterans, like Mayor Parise, who fought for our country. I remember following the Memorial Day parade to the Mayor Andrew Parise Park, where the mayor and many others would honor those we remembered on that day who gave their lives to defend our country.
Mayor Parise will no longer be physically present in our village, but his legacy will be felt through the laughter of the children who enjoy the park he was instrumental in constructing, and the smiles on the faces of residents during the summer months at the Tuesday-night concerts in the gazebo that he was at the forefront of creating. His smiling face will always be etched in my mind whenever I visit the Cedarhurst Village Hall.
So it’s still cold outside–but the way Mayor Parise cared for all of us truly warms my heart. v
Phyllis Joy Lubin is an attorney with Maidenbaum & Sternberg, LLP, who resides in Cedarhurst with her husband, Leonard. They have six children–Naftali, Shoshana, Rivka, Rochel, Yosef, and Lea–and a daughter-in-law, Nina. The author welcomes your questions and comments at MothersMusings@gmail.com.