Why can’t Carmine cross the road? - Brooklyn Paper

Why can’t Carmine cross the road?

I’m madder than that chicken that just wants to get to the other side but can’t because traffic is so horrific and here bird-brain can’t figure out what to do next over the fact that every summer, the city’s most-valuable commodity — crossing guards — disappears from our intersections, leaving seniors like me to fend for ourselves, and risk life and limb everytime we need to go to the corner store to get a bottle of milk!

Look, you all know the ol’Screecher has been huffing it from one place to another since before my days as a letter carrier for the United States Postal Service, when I walked so much I didn’t have to worry about how much I ate. (Not that I worry now, but it appears I haven’t been burning as many calories I take in for some time now. But I digress).

But that doesn’t mean I feel safe crossing the street right in front of my palace at the beautiful Harway Terrace — and I fell even less safe now that my beloved crossing guard is at the beach!

And I’m not the only one! Just think of all the old and infimed that have to cross corners without the benefit of a signal, or signalee. I tell you, there are so many out there it makes my blood boil!

Now if our mayor could give as much concern for our Golden Agers as he has for the so-called abused horses carrying people around the city, than we needn’t worry about our old folk.

I’ve been inundated with paperwork, some on huge 12-by-14 double-sided pages, asking me to call my councilman to support the ban. According to the Daily News, NYCLASS will be spending $500,000 for the first class media blitz. I guess the mayor is going to have to hire more traffic enforcement officers to rustle up more to pay for all this!

Let’s forget our mayor’s unpleasant nonsensical antics and get back to the nitty gritty of this column — the unsung heroes that guard and feed our children.

Anna, my favorite school crossing guard, reminded me of the time the Bensonhurt West End Community Council (BWECC!) had honored all the school crossing guards guarding in District 21 at Seth Low IS 96’s Auditorium, presenting each with a citation and award. She said that my group BWECC!, which I started and named, knowing full well the power of a good acronym, was the only one that showed any appreciation for the work they did. And she remembered the spread of different filled bagel wheel sandwiches with all the salads, pickles, and cole slaw, and drinks to down the feast. (I remember those as well. Mmmmm. Bagel wheel).

As a matter of fact, we honored not only those unheralded civil servants, but also the ladies and cooks who feed our kids, many whose basic nutrition for survival depends on the daily fare they receive at the schools.

I could tell how much they appreciated what we did for them by the way they always wanted to feed me whenever I was in their kitchens. As a member of the Community School Board and later on as President of the School Board, I visited many schools, not to mention all the schools I visited every Christmas as their favorite Carmine Santa Maria Claus.

Of course all this couldn’t have happened without the complete support of the Principal John Mancini, the late great Fran Amorasa, and John’s staff, as well as all the board members of the BWECC!. Seth Low under the reign of John Mancini with his music programs, color guard, and chorus was, in essence, then, the Bensonhurst-Gravesend community band playing anywhere it was needed, from Kingsborough Community College to the Brooklyn Columbus Day Parade.

As an aside, I’m happy to note that many schools now have fine music programs, which is great.

So I enjoyed reminiscing with Anna about how important it is to feel appreciated, proving how a little “thank yous” goes a long, long, long way.

So thank you, Anna. We, whom depend on you and your wonderful guards, know you are indispensable and as important as a cop on every corner.

Hopefully some day soon, the mayor will realize that school crossing guards are a better cause to fight for than banning horse-drawn carriages!

Screech at you next week!

Read Carmine’s screech every Saturday on BrooklynDaily.com. E-mail him at diegovega@aol.com.

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