A Visit with Lucy Lederer
There is a little park called Lederer Park, located on University Drive in State College, PA, a few blocks down from the Burger King. I know this park well because for quite a few years, I lived in a small house on Kemmerer Road, which is directly across the street from this park. So these used to be my stomping grounds.
I had an appointment with the oral surgeon on this day. A much-anticipated visit, I might add, which you could say I'd waited five months for. I broke a molar in August, couldn't get it pulled until October, and the follow-up appointment to discuss the implant everyone recommended I get was scheduled for this day.
Alas the appointment did not yield the outcome I had hoped for. That's what you get to say when you are finally an adult, and you realize that many things in life will not work out exactly the way you want, will take far longer than you had expected, will be far more aggravating than you ever anticipated, and/or will cost way more money than you ever thought possible. Nailed it, on all counts.
So my head was spinning, and I was trying to think about plan B, which will be a discussion I have with my regular dentist first thing on Wednesday morning. For there are big doings afoot, and this dental issue MUST be addressed before some other items in my life plans can fall into place.
I was done with my appointment, and as I drove up University Drive, I thought it was time to stop and visit with "Miss Lucy," as I have always called her. For at the center of the charming little park is a statue of a tiny woman on a pedestal. Her name is Lucy C. Lederer, "whose generosity helped create this park," as the pedestal beneath her says.
Lucy was a local artist, an educator, and a real estate developer, who lived from 1892 to 1991. On this day, I found Miss Lucy dressed in a hat, a plaid scarf, a belt, a beaded necklace, holding greenery in her hands (always, ALWAYS plants in her hands), and . . . . covered in mini Milk Bones dog biscuits! (A mini-biscuit close-up is included in the extras, in case you don't believe me.)
As I was approaching the statue, I had spotted an older woman and her white dog hanging out near it, and the woman was doing something with her hands. I couldn't see what at the time, but I realized later it was biscuit arrangement the woman had been dabbling in.
Had I had my wits about me, I'd have asked - in a friendly and nonthreatening way - what it was for, what was the significance of the biscuits, had she and Lucy been friends once upon a time? I don't know which I love more: a mystery, or a really good story.
But the tree shadows had grown long upon the grass, and the older lady and the white dog scurried off into a big white limo type car and left just before I did. I didn't get to ask any questions, so the riddle of the biscuits shall remain, unanswered.
I did have a fine, though short, visit with Miss Lucy. She didn't have much to offer on the subject of dental work. But the temperatures had risen, the sun was shining, and people were popping out at every corner to soak up the rays.
Suddenly, it had turned into the nicest day of the year so far, and I was so glad I stopped by for a few moments of mystery and enjoyment on such a beautiful I-know-it's-winter-but-it-sure-feels-like-springtime sort of afternoon.
The soundtrack song for Miss Lucy . . . How about this one: Elton John, with Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds.