Wednesday, May 7, 2014

The 16th day of Easter: Hasmat suits. And teeth.


Walter and his assistant Mary have arrived. He’s the architect hired by Landmarks Conservancy to check out the tower a few years ago who created a panic by his assessment that the tower is a disaster waiting to happen. The recent revelation of this has caused some of our people to say we have to resolve this before anything else happens. My official response has been that his words are not concrete enough so that we need something more explicit. Next week? Five years? Ten years? What? So we’ve brought him back and I’ve bought hooded hasmat suits, gloves and masks to outfit their journey into the pigeon tower.

Dennis from the Interfaith Assembly comes by with  some official papers to sign and I apologize for having to leave the awards banquet on Saturday night. It was good to have the work we’re doing recognized and I’m happy for the way my colleagues at West End have gotten involved.

Karen playing the piano again. The shifting moods of her reflective improvisation filling the sanctuary.

Walter and Mary emerge from their exploratory mission into the tower. It’s not as bad as I thought, he says. External masonry still in good shape. Amazing that it's still standing after 125 years. I've done buildings that are down already.  No external netting or scaffolding necessary. Possibly we might need….It’s enough to relieve the anxiety. And I still want to get an engineer in there.

Pat O comes in to help me plan for the evening’s Center board meeting. Mim joins us so that we can get the agenda and expected outcomes straight. Perhaps the biggest item is the Session’s desire that we move forward in creating the 501c3 and getting the management of the building into the Center’s hands.So the church can focus on the church.  When the rest of the board members arrive, we’re ready. And with a deep breath, next steps are determined. This group has stayed faithful for over three years. It’s time for the vision to start to become concrete.

As I get ready to go home, Keith is on the front steps with someone I don’t know with a collection of cans and bottles. Keith looks older. Fragile. I decide not to push his banned status. He asks for tissues. I go get some. What’s up? I ask.

My tooth. It’s abscessed. I’ve got to get it out. Can’t take it anymore.

I look at him.

I’ve got to pull it out. I’m a marine. I can take it. Do you have any pliers?

A.     The answer is no.

B.     It is clearly time for me to go home.

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