Wednesday, August 11, 2010

When least expected................

you get a surprise.  Contact from my NYC local government connection who indicates he will be requesting a hearing by the Fire and Criminal Justice Committee regarding the outrageous behavior of the DOC concerning the locating (not!) of John's remains, and related matters.  Fingers crossed everyone.  I've said it before and I'll say it again..................something good just may come of all this tragedy.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

The end...................

It's been a while since I've posted but it appears the end has come in my quest to help Hart Island. Those I thought would help have not - or perhaps I'm impatient - and I'm sad to say that my hopes and dreams were merely just that - hopes and dreams. I suppose I was overreaching in believing that little ol' me could do something, make a difference, light some fires, whatever you want to call it, and definitely overestimated me. For now, and probably for good, the dream's died and my efforts along with it.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Life's little surprises...........

Well it's confirmed - John's remains will never be found; the DOC is not taking responsibility, haven't even received a formal, not to mention sincere, apology, if you can believe it. Next step: get our story out there.  I've said it before and I will say it again - something good will come of this and I will do what I can to bring attention to the Island and how it's operated.  Families have the right, as do friends and the public, in general, to visit the Island without having to go through an FBI security check (might as well be).  The Island is history and history must be preserved. Not to mention the all important reason that there are flying souls on that Island who need and want to come in for a landing and stay a while.  They need their rest.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

The winds may be a changin'.............

Feeling a little more optimistic today; communications between me and my human angel have given me a little boost.  I'm not the most patient person in the world - no, really? - and when I have an idea, or a course I'm following, it has to happen now!  Things don't work that way in real life and I get discouraged real quick.  BUT, then I bounce back pretty quickly. I can't allow myself to feel defeated or beat cause it's just not in my nature to "lay down and die".  Have taken some positive steps and getting my word and message to a couple of influential folks in NYC on behalf of the Island, one of whom is very well known - he'll probably just think I'm a "nut", if he even gets my message, but I'm not -  just passionate, single minded with a mission.  Hey, gotta do what you gotta do and putting my thoughts out there in the universe may just yield some action.  What is it they say that if you think it and say it, it's out there waiting to be interecepted - or something like that. I continue to believe that John's plan was not just about him, but a much bigger picture.  As a friend told me, John's guiding me on the journey and it's up to me to figure out how to follow the guideposts he's placing in front of me - doing my best John and something good will come out of all that I'm doing.  Stay tuned!  Is anyone reading any of this?  Missing a lot if not :)

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Traveling a different path reach a common goal...

To those who have asked, I am familiar with The Hart Island Project, Melinda Hunt and all that she has done and continues to do to assist families locate family members through records.  My interest is, however, more focused on the Island itself and what can and must be done to restore and preserve this historical place that is now the final home for thousands and thousands.............. and thousands.  I never knew anything about Hart Island but the more I learn, the more I'm appalled at the lack of care the Island receives, given its history, but more importantly because it is and always will be a cemetery and final resting place.  At the same time, I'm amazed at how much beauty there really exists on the Island - buildings that have been there for decades, even a Chapel - how apropos - to name a few. Something is just not right about the disrespect the Island is given, not to mention that access to all who might want to visit and pay respects, other than having to prove you have family buried there, is impossible.  What about journalists, photographers, writers, etc., who are not allowed access? What is the DOC hiding?  So, I'd like to know why this  New York history is being thrown away and ignored?  And many New Yorkers should be asking the same question.  The fact my brother will never return to his real home, and that he must remain on the Island for all eternity, is the impetus and inspiration for me to do what I can do to help bring dignity and respect to all who now call Hart Island their [final] "home". And while this has been an extremely personal journey for me, I am determined not to allow it to be for naught.  I started this journey for my brother, and whether he is found or not, I intend to continue the journey , not only for him but for all the other souls buried along with him.  I hope whoever visits this Blog will read all the postings and get a better idea of where I'm going and what I am trying to do.  In whatever form or manner, we are many with a common goal.  This is my mission.

Monday, May 10, 2010

I'm ba-a-a-a-a--ack............

Okay, if you re-read my January 16, 2010 posting, you will know money is a big topic (and necessity) for getting what I have planned off the ground.  John must have been giving me some spiritual kicking in my sleep or something because, although I had this idea in late 2009 but never did anything with it, today I did something! No real thought, no hesitation, and as I wrote to a friend, it just all flowed so I know it's right.  Even  I can't believe some of the things I do but not going to question - just do!  Hopefully, I will reach my intended target.  This is all I will say for now  :)

Saturday, April 24, 2010

No news is good news...................

and that's precisely what I've got, no news.  I'm losing my belief in what I actually wrote a while back, that "one person can make a difference". Now, I'm thinking not so much.  That "one person" still needs other persons to contribute to the "cause", support and have a like passion for that cause.  I don't feel I've got that support and my passion just seems to be coming off as being a "pain in the ass".  I don't know what else to say other than I'm beginning to ask myself  "what's the point, who really cares"?

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Quote for the day...........

How far you go in life depends on
your being tender with the young,
compassionate with the aged,
sympathetic of the weak and strong.
Because some day in life
you will have been all of these.

George Washington Carver

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Origins of "Potter's Field"..............

is commonly said to come from the Gospel of St. Matthew (27:3-8).  After Judas (Iscariot) gave up Jesus to the Romans for 30 pieces of silver, remorse and regret consumed him and he wanted to repent & return the money to the high priests. When the high priests refused the return of "the price of blood", as they claimed, Judas threw the money to the ground and ultimately hanged himself.  And, because the high priests could not accept the return of the [blood] money, "....and they took counsel and bought with them the potters field to bury strangers in......"


How appropriate for me (and you) to learn ............on this Easter Sunday as I'm watching 1961's "King of Kings" and.....................the earth just shook (earthquake in sunny California).

Saturday, April 3, 2010

One Monument for all..................

stands 30-foot tall on the Island.  Erected in 1948, inmates appealed to the Warden and, along with custodial staff, built the memorial monument for the "unbefriended dead".  And, so it would seem convicted & incarcerated men had more respect for the dead than those men who were free. The monument is located in the center of the burial ground, on one side engraved a cross and, on the other, the word "Peace".   My personal thanks to all the inmates and staff members who fought for this very simple yet respectful "headstone" for all. And this is it!  As far as I've learned, this monument is the one & only tribute given to all those buried on the Island and the one & only symbol that this Island ultimately belongs to the dead.  Amazing and ........shameful!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Fractured Fairy Tale.............

In death, as in life, my family's scattered to the winds.  My dad's there, my mom's over there and John's somewhere out there - I'm still here. There are many angels helping me at this point, one in particular, and they're still holding out for a miracle that John will be found on the Island.  Me, not so much.  Even as a child, I did not believe in miracles, fairy tales or the Easter Bunny.  There was no "Snow White" or "Sleeping Beauty" - reality was my companion. Not trying to evoke any sympathy, these were/are the facts.  It's a little hard at this stage of the game to start believing but, then again, we must.   So back to reality and...............the Island. John's somewhere out there, this I know.  Let's not see the Island as a dumping ground for human garbage because the thought the Island Souls are looked upon in that way is too much for me to bear - my brother is not, was not, "human garbage".  The fact remains, however, the Island is a dumping ground of sorts because decade after decade after decade nothing's been done to transform it otherwise.  Where are the fountains from which water may flow?  Where are the flowers from which a smile may grow?  Where are the trees from which shade may be given? Where are the (memorial) benches on which family and friends may sit and grieve?  And, where is the chapel in which we must pray? Other than the prisoners who perform the burials, is there a "Man of God" sending these souls off with some kind & spiritual words?  Why must the Island be so mysterious, elusive and hidden?  What are they hiding?  Just thought I'd ask.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Some days suck! ........

........and this is one of them.  Today, I'm asking myself what others might ask as well - what the hell am I doing and who really cares about any of this?  I'm just one little person in a crowd of millions so what do I really think I'm going to accomplish here?  I'm feeling rather down today - can you tell? - and I'm even depressing myself. I need to re-group, get focused and not worry about anything related.  Progress has been made, progress is being made, in the way it is supposed to.  Patience is not one of my better virtues - hah!
It's my worse.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

An Island, not just for the poor.....................

I believe there's a misconception that Hart Island - Potter's Field - is the final resting place for the poor, the homeless, the indigent, the family-less, only.  Not true!  And, you may ask, "why should I care?"  While all the Potter's Fields throughout the world serve their purpose for those mentioned - quite frankly, if it weren't for such places, where should these unfortunate souls lay their bones, or should they just be thrown away? -one only has to look at my brother's story to know that many on the Island came from middle-class families, they were not poor, nor indigent and they did and do have families and friends. Besides, what difference does it make anyway - where the souls came from - do they not deserve the same dignity in death?

"There but for the grace of God go I".   We've all heard these words, many of us say them, and they are not exclusive to any particular religious group. So, where did these words come from and why are they so powerful?  The story goes that a variation of these words were spoken by the English Evangelical Preacher & Martyr, John Bradford (1510-1555) as he watched criminals being led to their deaths. He, himself, was burned at  the stake in 1555.  Point is, we don't know how life will turn out for us, we have no idea how it will end, and we have no real control over anything in life or, most definitely, not in death.  And so, lest you think those on Hart Island are basically "nobodys", of them could be the future you.  Is this where you would want to spend your eternal life?  Think about it.  Now, what can be done?

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

 "Never underestimate the power of..." and that's all I'm sayin' for now.  Oh, and let's not forget that witty little saying, "Hell hath no fury than a woman scorned" - in this case, substitute "sister" for "woman" and you get the picture.  Wheels are a turnin' and heads a spinnin' somewhere in NYC and, again, that's all I'm sayin'...........for now. My head's been spinning so lately but I do want to say, if I haven't already, that there are others out there who have a great interest in Hart Island, for personal & various other reasons.  My interest is so, so personal - my brother's been hanging out there for 38 years now - and you can't get much more personal than that. In whatever capacity folks are interested, and in whatever way they are doing their part to bring attention to the Island, i.e., petition City Council, Mayor, etc., to allow public access to the Island, and more importantly, family and friends access, that's not enough!  It's not enough for the DOC to change their policies and procedures so all the Island Souls can know they are not forgotten, that people DO care, but restoration, preservation and respect must be brought to the Island as well.   You can sit there and think this is all a bunch of hog wash, talking about spirits, souls, etc., but I've no other explanation other than John's spirit is crying out to me - this is what pushes me forward.  At first, I thought it was just for him I was traveling on this journey, but I've come to believe he had, and has, a much grander plan in mind - the Island and all its inhabitants.   Never in a million years would I have thought I could start this blog, and another about John, and also create a website about Hart Island - certainly not me and, might I add, I'm the most computer illiterate person there is - who knew? - yet here I am, being a pain in the ass to others (which I do so well, by the way) and forging ahead. 

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Quote (and thought) for the Day............

If I can stop one heart from breaking, I shall not live in vain.
If I can ease one life the aching, or cool one pain,
Or help one fainting robin unto his nest again,
I shall not live in vain.

Emily Dickinson

Saturday, March 20, 2010

"And the show must go on"

With the recent information I've received about John - that his remains will not be found - my mission to bring more attention to the Island has become more urgent for me than ever.  He is there on the Island, he will never come home, and he deserves to have peace in his final resting place.  Everyone does! I was talking with a friend last night and we both just repeat the same words -  that it boggles the mind that nearly
1 Million bodies have been buried on the Island so nearly 1 Million souls are wandering - give or take a few thousand - and the fact that nothing has ever been done to make this sacred place more respectful is beyond comprehension, really!  I'm no one special, I am not famous, I haven't any money, and who the hell do I think I am?  Like so many, I haven't always known who I was but...............I'm learning. You know, it's very expensive to have a decent burial in this day and age - funeral ceremony, permit, burial plot, casket, headstone, to name the basics.  The cost?  Anywhere from $5000-$7000.  Do you have that kind of money just lying around in the event a loved one passes - I don't.  My point is this:  City Cemeteries are very important and necessary - you may be buried in one some day - and the fact we're talking about a City Cemetery -  in this case, Potter's Field, Hart Island - does not negate the fact these final resting "homes" should be, and must be, a place where peace may be found not only for those laid to rest, but for the families and friends of those who, hopefully, have gone on to another, if not better, land.  So why hasn't anything been done for Hart Island?  I've no idea how other cities handle their City Cemeteries, or in what condition they are in; trust me, if I had money, I'd travel and check 'em out.  My primary focus, however, is Hart Island, where my brother is;  where thousands of sons, daughters, fathers, mothers..............and brothers have been laid.  I plan on visiting the Island in the next couple of months, not only to see for myself but more importantly, to let John know I have not forgotten him, nor will I...............ever.  The journey will continue.

Monday, March 15, 2010

This is not the end...........

Well, I've received confirmation from the DOC (Department of Corrections) - and not the positive kind I had hoped for -   that John's remains, in fact, will never be found (due to lost records). First, "yes, we've confirmed, identified... (remains)" and exhumation would commence once the ground thawed.  Now, "oops, we made a mistake; can't find remains, never will".  Can't even be sad about this, not really, because if I get in a sad mode, I'll be frozen just like that ground I'd been waiting for to thaw.  I must stay angry; anger is a great motivator.  But, you know, this Blog  is NOT really about the DOC and I shall not go into any specifics, at least not now and not in this posting. We all know what my purpose is, where I'm headed and what I'd like to accomplish.  Believe me, I'm not big-headed enough to think I, alone, will make a difference but, then again, never underestimate the power of one.  As I so softly (not!) told a DOC representative today, and I quote, "if John's remains cannot be found, I will be goddamned if he stays in that 'sh--t hole' for all eternity".  You know, crazy as this may sound, it may have been my brother's plan all along - to look at (and fight for) the big picture; that this was never just about him but about the thousands, and thousands, and thousands, and............. This just may be the path that John chose for me to travel on, with all its bumps, pot holes and blurred white lines and................ a lot of heartache.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Frustration and Sadness..............

abounds.  If anyone has been following this blog, they'd know what my connection to Hart Island is - my brother's been buried there since 1972.  Since 2009 I've been on a mission to have John exhumed so I may give him a proper burial in a Veteran's Cemetery in So. California.  Things were going great, NYC officials have been helping me, and I actually got confirmation from the DOC (Dept.of Corrections which has jurisdiction over Hart Island),  albeit from a third party, that my brother's remains were confirmed and identified.  Well, now, not so and I'm hoppin' angry - gotta stay angry otherwise I'd fall apart!  The irresponsibility of telling me John's remains were found, gotta wait til the ground thaws to exhume him, blah, blah,blah, and now, they're saying "oops, we made a mistake".  Oh my god, are they kidding, is this a joke?  Sadly, it's all true. Now I'm getting first-hand knowledge of how the DOC operates - apparently not well - and I'm here to tell you.....................if John's remains cannot be found, I will be damned if I allow him to continue to remain in a place overseen by folks who obviously have no respect for the dead. And why is the DOC overseer of Potter's Field anyway?  And why isn't the DOC suggesting that Potter's Field be preserved and restored as the final resting place that it is for thousands? Have they ever devised a "plan" to do something, or even made the attempt?  All rhetorical questions but answers that need to come for me and many other families whose loved ones are buried there, never to be found or identified. If it's the last breath I take, I will continue on the mission to bring the plight of Hart Island to the attention of someone, anyone, who can and will help.  The ball MUST start rolling for restoration and preservation and the personal connection I have, the sorrow I feel over the fact John might have to stay there for eternity, is the impetus for me to march on.  Call me crazy - I'd be in good company - but I don't care.  Taking a stand and having a passion for what we do in life are key.  John's had nothing but bad breaks throughout his brief life and I'm not going to allow his spirit to wander through the skies, restless and without peace. One way or another, he WILL be honored and respected in death if it's the last thing I do!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Is it possible................

.............that New Yorkers really know nothing about Hart Island?  Is that possible?  How's that possible?  How is it that folks might not know about this grand, tragic and historic place?  It's beyond me but I suppose it's possible. Well, if there's anyone who might be able to shed some light, not only for the people who live in New York, but for those in other parts who may happen upon this blog,  it's me.  You will learn as I learn and that's what it's all about - living, learning, doing and accomplishing.  Gosh, that would be so wonderful if my little blog could be noticed by more than one person and actually reach some folks who just might agree with me.............or offer up a few Million to start the ball rolling.  Hey, you gotta dream big! Bye for now.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Hart Island............and The Kingston Lounge........

There is a blog I'd like you to check out - the photographs depict precisely what I'm writing about..... that Hart Island is, can & will be a place of beauty, despite the sadness associated with it.  Check out      Who would have thought Hart Island has, in fact, so much beauty with the historical buildings and the stories behind them.  My brother, and the photos of Kingston Lounge, inspired me and, so, here I am.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

My brother, John, and how the journey began..........

I thought I'd share a little about how my brother came to be buried on Hart Island.  It will be 38 years January 19, 2010, that John's been body; his spirit has been with me all along, I just didn't know it til now.  It's hard to believe it, really.  He was barely 24 when he died and he'd be 63 years old this year.  The circumstances of his death, which I'm just now discovering, and his burial in Potter's Field, are really quite amazing.  Although John died on January 19th, our family did not find out til mid February 1972, and really quite by accident.  John was an in-patient at the Manhattan Psychiatric Unit since July 1971, diagnosed with schizophrenia while serving in the U.S. Air Force, and I had been in telephone contact with him since late 1971.  The last time I spoke with him  while at the hospital, he sounded good and was looking forward to coming home (to Los Angeles, Ca.).  Months had passed, it was now February 1972, and I realized I had not heard from him for a while.  So, I  called him at the Hospital.  At first, they didn't know who I was talking about when I asked to speak with him, and then after another try, I was told, straight out with no hesitation, and without knowing who I was, "I'm sorry, John Turner is deceased."   This is the god's honest truth..... this is how our family found out John was gone.  It was at this time we also found out John had already been buried...........on February 1, 1972 in Potter's Field.  Efforts were made by our mother to have him exhumed and re-buried in a Veteran's Cemetery in So. California, a fact I didn't find out until March 2009 when I discovered John's military file and other documents - another amazing story by itself.  Flash forward to January 2009 when certain events happened which started me on the journey I'm now on - to have John given the military burial he so richly deserved and still deserves........ nearly 38 years later.  I was initially told by the Dept. of Corrections, the overseer of Hart Island, exhumation after 10 years would not be possible, and I believed what I was told.  And, so, believing I would be unable to secure John remains, I embarked on a journey with the Veterans' Administration to get authorization to bury some of his very personal items - Bible, military cap, smoking pipes and tobacco, and other items (yes, I've kept all his things) instead.  I've even claimed that these personal items are technically  now his "remains"as they contain his fingerprints, his scent, his spirit, his DNA.  I've been fighting with the VA in D.C., and other politicians, both locally and in D.C., ever since.  But, then, when I was unable to get information on the circumstances and cause of John's death, I wrote directly to the doctor who performed my brother's autopsy in 1972.  This doctor came to be the world-renowned forensic pathologist Dr. Michael Baden . To my shock and surprise, Dr. Baden  personally telephoned me and we've been communicating since November 2009.  Not only did he help me get my brother's autopsy report (which we never got), and I would finally know the surrounding facts and cause of death, but he offered his assistance by seeing "what we can do to get your brother exhumed".  And, so with that one letter, some doors have opened and the possibility of finding John's remains has become quite real.  I followed by writing to a Staten Island Councilman who, although he didn't have to, offered his assistance. Several other elected officials are now all helping to get John home.  If this weren't happening to me, I wouldn't believe it.  And, so, in a nutshell, this is how the journey I'm still on for my brother, John, has lead me to this...........Hart Island and it's preservation.  And, to Dr. Baden, if you ever read this, please know I will always and forever be grateful for your kindness and assistance. As a final note:  there are some who would like me to believe there is "absolutely no way" John's remains will ever be found. All I can say to them is........
"O ye of little faith."  Luke 12:27-28; Matthew 8:25-26.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

The plan, Part II....................

Continuing on with the "resources"..  We've got people - check.  Let me go back first and let you know what I've been told of the reasons why Hart Island cannot be visited so easily, and such strict rules and regulations apply.  "Security".  For those who don't know, burials and exhumations are performed on a weekly basis by the inmates at Ryker's and, if I'm not mistaken, this is a once-a-week ritual - technicality but I need to confirm this.  Anyway, true, security would be an issue if you have both visitors and inmates on the Island at the same time - I can appreciate that.  So you don't have visitors on the day the inmates are there - makes sense, right?  Before I go further, I wanted to say these are my random thoughts; while I have done some research on all this, sometimes you just can't trust the written word - mine, of course, you can always trust - and so confirmation from a reliable source would need to be obtained.  Presuming I am correct, however, you simply do not have visitors on the day inmates are on the Island - end of story.  So,  there you have it - the biggest reason for not allowing visitors - security - but I think I've come up with a pretty good and simple solution, don't you think?  How about one week per month for visitors - no burials and/or exhumations for one week out of the month. And, how about hiring some retired police officers to act as security guards during those once-a-week public visits, as needed?  I may be naive but I think this can all be accomplished...... in time - don't you?  Okay, back to resources.  So, another resource required - money, of course!  This may seem like a hard one but, again, very possible. I personally don't believe the City of New York should be required, or expected to, pay for a project such as this.................but they could help, for sure.  When doing research on Ellis Island, and how her restoration began, I learned the idea of beautification/restoration was shot down more than a few times, money being one of the reasons.  Blah, blah, blah, it turns out the restoration of Ellis Island was pretty much funded by private contributions, and I quote, "American people contributed more than $500M.......... no government funds have been used".  With Ellis, President Reagan contacted Lee Iacocca, then Chairman of Chrysler Corp., to head a "private sector effort" to raise funds for restoration.  The rest is history.  I'm closing up shop now while I think about who I can contact about heading up a "private sector effort" to raise money for Hart Island's restoration.  I've got a few ideas and, with my big mouth and written words, I just may get through.  One person can (and just might) make a difference. Take care.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

The plan...................

My thoughts are running wild re the "plan".  Not sure how I'm going to approach all this, but what I am sure of is this "project" is one that can be done!  Whoever is involved, whoever has the same desire as I, and whoever does whatever they do, it's just more validation for the restoration of the Island.  It takes more than just the idea itself - although that's a great start; for instance, you would not pose a problem without suggesting solution(s), or plan(s) to correct the situation, right? Right. And a solution, a plan, does not have to be elaborate and so out there the idea gets lost. The solutions to most problems are staring us right in the face and they're the simplest. We, as the complex people that we are, seem to go for the most difficult, most convoluted, and most ridiculous - and I'm no exception.  Anyway, some of those old-fashioned sayings, are correct; I wonder if age has something to do with that.  We get wiser as we age, or at least some of us do, and we forget the simple, the most logical.  And, so, in this instance, the first question to ask is "what resources are available?"  In closing, I will provide the most"logical" answer:  the Island is under the jurisdiction of New York's Department of Corrections; inmates at Ryker's Island are the Island's pall bearers and grave diggers (both for burials and exhumations); and so what is Ryker's Island's greatest commodity/resource? People.  And what very important resource is required for the "idea"?  People!  End of that "resource" for the day.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

A little of what I've learned......

Some time has passed now since I've begun this Blog and I'm wondering what I'm doing.  Is this worth it? Will anyone even read this?  And, if they do, will they think I'm some crazy person passing the time of day writing about something she knows nothing about.  What will become of this?  Truthfully, it's the "crazy" people who seem to get things done, don't they?    I'm learning from my own personal journey and connnection to Hart Island we must never give up!  If you've read my Profile, you will get the gist of what my connection to Hart Island is ......... my dear brother, John, is buried on Hart Island.  It's going on 38 years January 19, 2010 that John's been on the Island but in 2009, I decided it was time to bring him home.  Can't explain it, don't know what happened, but a bolt hit me and ever since, I've been on a mission, never giving up, always being a pain in the butt, and irritating (I've no doubt) a lot of politicians and government officials. The "journey", while to some may seem like a short distance (in less than a year, I've accomplished quite a bit), the journey has actually been nearly 38 years in the making.  Timing is everything, both in the scope of life as the big picture, and life as in our little own world - timing was right and I was ready.

I've learned quite a bit about Hart Island, and learning more and more each day.  I've come to the conclusion that Hart Island's residents have many personal stories; stories that had a beginning and an ending so sad ......on Hart Island.  Do you  know over 800,000 souls have been buried on Hart Island throughout its 135-year history? And do you know there are thousands and thousands of babies and children buried there as well?  There is so much to learn about Hart Island and what I've learned thus far is not pretty.  In my research, I've come across many, many articles written, one of which by Clay Risen of the Morning News, in which he describes the thoughts of some who have visited the Island, " 'lonely' and 'creepy'".  I've no doubt this is!  Is this how Hart Island is to be remembered, forever and ever? As Ellis Island, is Hart Island not part of New York's history?  Doesn't Hart Island and its residents deserve some care and attention?  And, don't the relatives and friends of the Island's residents deserve to visit their loved ones?  I say "yes" to all of the above.  Hart Island deserves recognition, preservation and beautification, and I'm going to do my best to bring it's plight to the attention of someone, anyone, who might see my vision with a positivity that will carry along to a happy conclusion for all. 

Oh, I know,  I'm not the first to bring attention to the Island, and I won't be the last.  Not many, however, can claim the passion I have about a place I've never personally visited.  Not unless you've a loved one buried on the Island -  you can't visit, can't get closure, can't speak to your loved one -  it's hard for most to comprehend such passion.  I've never been a very spiritual person, and was one of those who believed once you're dead, you're dead.  No longer do I think that way.  It breaks my heart to know  my brother has not had one single person visit him, no flowers have ever been layed down and, other than the customary words spoken when buried, no one has stood over his grave and prayed for his soul.  Life is hard enough, but death should be a comforting thing, really.  I feel deeply my brother knows where he is -  in some god-forsaken land where no one seems to care - and he wants to come home, needs to come home and needs to be with family.  I'm working on that!  In the meantime, though, for all those who may never get off the Island, it is, and will remain, "home"; and, because of this fact, their final resting place must be sacred.  Those overseeing this final resting place for so many, and those who merely know about this place, need to stop and really think about it.

So, this is it for now.  As much as I'd like to devote all my time and energies to what I'm now calling my next "project", I do have a job and must get back to work.  Ta-ta for now.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Where do I/we start?

Okay, I've just posted a "comment" when I should have "posted" - oh well, I'm still learning how this all works.  I'm so computer literate - LOL.  Well, my "comment" actually says quite a bit but I will say one more thing for the evening - there is absolutely no reason on this earth that Hart Island cannot be restored, beautified and transformed into a place of respect and peace.  Money, money, money - the biggest excuse NOT to do anything. BUT, I ask you this - did not everything in this great big world we live in begin with an idea?  When someone, or some persons, thought of the idea of building the Brooklyn Bridge, I can assure you their first thought after that was "where will we get the money".  Bottom-line: everything began with an idea, a desire and a passion.  The money will come later.  Bye for now.