So, several years ago when I was still a person and not an object of scorn and derision. I lived in a wonderful neighborhood in Brooklyn, Prospect Lefferts Gardens in our dream house. We lost it and more when I was removed.
The brownstone sat on Maple Street near Prospect Park, Olmsted’s gem. The park offered a zoo, with animals who needed more modern environs, a carosel, which didn’t work, and the Vale of Cashmere, an area featured in a Barbara Streisand movie. Sharon ran with the Prospect Park Track Club. I rode my bike. We were volunteers.
The neighborhood was rough then. A group of Alleged Revolutionaries held drills on rooftops. We had a car service to and from the subway. No place to buy much of anything except for a cold beer. It was the scene of the Crown Heights Riots. And one of the best ethnic mixes you could ever imagine.
In the Park, Tucker Thomas and Dicki Graff were our friends. Tucker got people to care about the place. Dicki wrote a book on the park. She’s dead.
Dicki, Sharon and I, and a few other people from the Central Park Conservancy, fixed up the Vale of Cashmere. Sharon and I were married there on July 10, 1983 or 1984, I cannot remember, by Justice Archie Garfinkel, a wonderful man and lover of justice. He’s dead, too.
As members of the Prospect Park Alliance, we worked on work crews, cleaning debris and rehabbing failed buildings, tunnels and water routes. We organized for “You gotta have Park” when people didn’t give a damn. And, we raised money to restore two horses on the carousel.
I was on trial in the SDNY in the case of USA v Anthony Gaggi, et, al. It was a case that involved some organized crime figures and some wonderful lawyers. It lasted 18 months and most of the charges were sustained. Rudy was the US Atty at the time. I represented a lesser man whose conviction was ultimately reversed.
During the trial, I solicited money from the lawyers and defendants and families and whomever I could find around court to restore horses on the carousel. People thought I was nuts, raising money for wooden horses in a drug riddled part of the park. But I told them it would build community and bring safety to a desolate part of one of the brightest jewels in the world. Raising enough, I got the honor of naming two horses. I named one. Sharon named the other.
Sharon named hers, “Woodstock Nation.” It was an homage to all of us who grew up in the age of acquarius. She went to Woodstock.
Me. I named mine the 6th Amendment. Now, I don’t have the park, my house, any friends and I don’t practice law. But I hope some kids or people enjoyed riding on our horses. It could be the last good thing I ever did.