I’m madder than a squirrel who’s lost the map to his nuts after spending all summer hiding them over the fact the media today focuses all of its attention on the bad things that young people do, instead of pointing out all the positives that are begging to be written about!
Look, I know what your thinking: “Carmine, you’re part of the problem. Your just an old windbag who screams ‘Get out of the way you whippersnappers!’ while your ride Tornado down 86th Street looking for something else to eat.”
Well let me tell you something: nothing could be further from the truth (except that stuff about me calling young people “whippersnappers.” And the thing about riding my scooter down 86th Street. Oh, and that thing about me always being hungry. But now I’m off point!).
Now, whenever I turn on the 6 pm evening news, all I hear about is how these kids are making a mess of Zucchini Park, or spending too much time playing on their Z-boxes or iPhonies, and not paying attention to the things that matter (namely, that they are doing everything wrong!).
I don’t need to tell you that to some degree, the old saying is true: Youth is wasted on the young. And that is the impression you would get if you let the media paint its picture of today’s youth with its broad brush strokes of unwanted antics, crimes, and shenanigans of the few, as though they were the majority.
But old Carmine is here to tell you that you can’t always believe what you read or see, and that no matter how cloudy and stormy it might get out there, the sun’s rays find a way to not so much burst through, but, well, you get the picture.
My case in point is a young lady whose leadership and good deeds have grabbed the headlines of our local newspapers and television stations — namely News 12, which, by the way, I love, — and who just so happens to be my colleague at Assemblyman Bill Colton’s office.
Priscilla Consolo is 17-years-old and goes to Midwood HS, but she’s also well known around the neighborhood for organizing clean-ups of our streets — the last one happening last week, when she got 400 other kids together to clean up 86th Street from 19th Avenue to 26th Avenue!
And she does it all on her own! By herself!
This young go-getter reached out from Assemblyman William Colton’s office, gathering members of Our Lady of Grace Church Youth Team, students from Midwood HS, Brooklyn Tech, and New Utrecht, members of Bensonhurst Cluster Youth Ministry, members of Our Lady of Grace Boys & Girls Scouts troops, members of the United Chinese Association, and NYC Comptroller John Liu’s Youth Action Team. All were anxious to enlist in this endeavor, a major and important civic effort that gave them a chance to prove themselves as concerned citizens.
She got so many kids together, we weren’t sure we would have enough shovels!
I sent out a press advisory using my trusty old standbys — my Smith Corona and Bert the homing pigeon (take that, Twitter!) — to let all the media know what was going on: everyone was to meet at 9:45 at Bay 25th Street and 86th Street.
I drove over on Tornado to check out the scene, expecting to find camera crews from the big-three networks and possibly old Brian Williams himself, but, lo and behold, they chose not to cover this momentous event that was happening thanks to the hard work of one teenager.
Shame on them!
Because you know something, they missed the biggest story of the year! There were kids carrying garbage bags bigger then they were, and one kid even had a huge wooden deck twice the sizes of him — talk about energy, enthusiasm and dedication!
When all the kids got back from their assigned rounds, we did what all big corporations do when they want to thank staffers for a job well done — we gave out 400 personalized Certificates of Merits and had a pizza party which required 90 pies! Much to my chagrin, not one had sardines on it. Apparently, kids today say that eating a sardine is like eating an eyebrow. But I digress.
Afterwards, I drove around to find out what the merchants thought of all the hard work.
Not surprisingly, they were impressed: Charlie, the conveniently named son-in-law of the guy who’s owned Charlie’s Handbags on the corner of 86th Street and Bay 25th for 30 years had nothing but praise for the kids.
So if I may, I want to nominate Priscilla Consolo as Teenager Wonder Woman of the Year, and I’m sure Assemblyman Colton will second the nomination. The Bensonhurst-Gravesend legislator was so impressed with Priscilla, he added her to his staff, possibly making her the youngest staff member in the New York State Assembly. But I’m not sure because Bert hasn’t gotten get back to me with that information.
Last but not least, kudos to those 400 great kids who proved to us skeptical old fogies that for some, youth is not wasted on the young!
Screech at you next week!
Carmine Santa Maria, whose column appears every Saturday on BrooklynDaily.com, blames our editor for not having someone take picuters at the above-mentioned clean-up, but our editor blames the homing pigeon, Bert, who lost the note about it while picking through garbage pails at MetroTech.