Randalls Island Park Alliance

Memorial for Matthew Matthews

In What's in Bloom on April 20, 2012 at 8:48 pm

By Phyllis Odessey

The first time I met Matthew Matthews at 5Boro Garage and Offices on Randall’s Island, I was looking for someone else.  Most people I asked for Mr. so and so, told me to take left or right or go straight ahead until I was right back where I started from.  I look dazed.  The first thing out of Matthew Matthews mouth was “Can I help you?”  And he meant it.  Whenever I needed to transverse the web of offices at 5Boro, I went directly to Matthew Matthews.  You could count on his good will and friendliness.

On April 19th, we had a Memorial Planting for Matthew Matthews.  His colleagues at 5Boro had asked Eric Peterson, Deputy Administrator of Randall’s Island, to organize a tree planting in honor of Matthews.  The spot chosen was within spitting distance of 5Boro and many people participating in the planting would be able to see the area from their windows at 5Boro.
When we started digging, someone yelled “There is part of curb here.”  Soon followed, “We’ve found the road.”  It turns out that at some point in time, a road passed underneath part of this newly created patch of land.  Our 5Boro colleagues were not deterred.  They continued; pick axe in hand even in their office attire.
The trees planted are multi-stem crabapples (Malus ‘Spring Snow’).  These trees are especially celebratory in the Spring.  Talking with Matthew was always a kind of celebration.  When we pass  this planting, we all be reminded of him .


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