January 6, 2000, turned out to be a warm sunny day. Almost 300 people attended the celebration. The descendant families of five of the six honorees were present and basked in the glory being heaped on their ancestor. All three television stations had crews there and favorably reported on the event. It was a grand day.
In his speech Dr. Bronner gushed platitudes and implied that he had bought the land at that very spot for the purpose of constructing a history park. What a hoot! I think he had totally forgotten the agony that we all went through just to think up an acceptable use for the tiny, ill-shaped piece of ground.
Mayor Bright did show up and weakly delivered a welcoming speech. His stumbling demeanor was certainly a marked contrast to the bombastic style of his predecessor, the omnipotent Emory Folmar. The new man will certainly tax our patience and pride before we get used to him.
The usually arrogant Ron Blount was there, standing in back of the assembled crowd, sullen and full of rancor. He told one and all that “I didn’t even receive an invitation to the dedication, but I came anyway.” Well, I didn’t send out invitations–Greta did. But I did not tell her to send him one. And wonder of wonders, standing beside Blount and taking everything in, was Harry Bridgewood (nee Paul Vassil), the undercover cop from New York who helped drive the mafia from 55 Water Street six years earlier. It is indeed a small world.
-Charles Humphries (“Peril and Intrigue Within Architecture”)