By K. Kennell
Walking along Magnolia Blvd Thursday morning I greeted an older gentleman who was walking with belabored movements. He had a warm smile and I saw his cane and remarked “use it or lose it” He seemed happy to see a smile and a stranger who cared. How easy it is to pass our neighbors and not take that moment to be a part of the community and possibly make someone’s day with a kind comment. How many times have we passed with earphones in our ears instead of greeting our neighbors known and not yet known? This man told me he had lived in Magnolia for over 50 years. He had suffered from a stroke and heart attack but it was his bum knee that caused the most distress. We jibber joshed a bit and moved on with our morning exercise.
I was in a “stop and smell the roses” mood knowing the day would soon take on a faster pace. I stopped to inspect the bright new bench that I had watched being installed a couple weeks back and studied the untarnished plaque that read: “For our friend, Ron Zucarrelli, from his classmates at Mt Carmel.” I sat down to gaze over the Sound for a moment, on that cloudy morning, thinking about these nice benches that populate our Seattle Parks providing a retreat from the faster pace that abounds. I decided to do a little research about the benches and write it up for the Magnolia Voice in case anyone else was curious.
The bench donations are arranged through the Seattle Park Foundation and are $3000 for a new installation, as this one is, or $2000 for a refurbished bench. The new ones are said to last 15 years and the refurbished 10. The plaques can include up to ten words more than a name but no “in memory of” messages. No plaques and limited opportunities at Discovery Park according to their website. If you would like to explore donation bench you can email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 206.332.9900 x10.
You can also send a contribution for a tree to be planted in a park for $500, or in a specific park for $750 or funds toward their annual fund to: Seattle Park Foundation-860 Terry Ave North-Seattle, WA 98109. Seattle has many nice parks and Seattle Parks Foundation has done many projects to keep them up amid the many budget cuts.
Amazing what a little early morning stroll can yield. Thanks to Ron’s friends to contributing this nice bench to our community with a view of Mt Rainier at least on a clear day.