My rendezvous with destiny

10 Riverside Drive

Ely Park entrance
By Paul Konecny, used by permission

Recently, I commented on my friend David’s Facebook response to his Wordle 3 score that I’d gotten two 3s in a row, “my rendezvous with destiny.” This was an obtuse clue that day’s word, which was TRYST. He said, “That sounds like the title of your next blog post.” Okay, I always do what David says. (HA!)

ITEM: Someone posted a picture of the gateway to the hundred steps to Ely Park on Facebook’s Historic Binghamton site. This was at the corner of Oak and Prospect Streets, less than four blocks from both my Grandma Williams’ house on Maple Street, south of Prospect, and our house on Gaines Street, east of Oak Street.

The gateway was razed, along with dozens of houses in Binghamton, Johnson City (plus the baseball stadium Johnson Field), and westward in the late 1960s to build the new Route 17, which is becoming I-86. My grandma had relatives that were displaced. But somehow, I had it in my head that the construction was even more disruptive than it was.

If you take the westbound Exit 72 and turn right then left, I know you’ll find a cemetery where my friend Karen’s mom was buried in 2012. But if you turn right and then right again, you’ll find the Ely Park golf course. I haven’t been in that section of the city since the highway was built. Next time I’m in town, I’ll need to go there.

Les as a child

ITEM: My sister Marcia found a picture of my father from c. 1932, which I posted on the Historic Binghamton site, trying to find more information about it. I’ll post it here later this month.

One guy commented that my father “would sometimes sing with my Dad, Pete Reynolds. You and your family visited my family when we lived on Brady Hill Rd in Conklin Forks.” Always fascinating when my past comes back.

A woman named Arlene noted: “Knew your parents and the family through the dental office where I was a dental hygienist. Loved all of them!!” That was 10 Riverside Dr. with Dr. Levey. That was in a separate building right behind my pedestrian’s office, Israel J. Rosefsky, who retired at 88 and died in 2005 at 95. I have a favorable recollection of Arlene.

Old friend

ITEM: In the 1980s, I had a friend named Jean. We used to hang out together, going to plays or concerts; I’ll have to check my diaries eventually. She had a daughter who I was fond of. But I lost track of them.

As I noted, Sue from my choir died recently. I just discovered that Jean’s daughter is Susan’s granddaughter! Moreover, my wife knows the husband of Jean’s daughter. At the funeral, I discovered I had given Jean’s daughter some Elfquest comics back in the day. She knew who Raoul Vezina, my FantaCo friend, was and even remembered that he died from an asthma attack in 1983.

I think a better title for this would have been, My Ever-Present Past, a Paul McCartney song title.

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