Bethene Trexel and Jon Tenney are two Judson Memorial Church treasures. Married with grown children, both with different interests, yet they are there for each other. Whether it’s in New York State on the Vermont border, staying in an ancestral home Jon inherited, or traveling over hill and dale to Lake George to eat in a Howard Johnson to revive childhood memories of 28 flavors of ice cream, it’s always an adventure to be with Bethene and Jon.
This week Bethene was honored by the New York Times for her years of volunteering with the Advocacy, Counseling and Entitlement Services program of Community Service Society. Bethene invented a chart to help people figure out Part D of Medicare. It is so useful that she updates it throughout the year.
I was in the Thompkins Square library yesterday. It’s a wonderful place: quiet, organized, courteous and efficient personnel. Nothing’s perfect. As I was eying the carefully arranged stacks of local newspapers, a fashionable woman carrying a pad and a bunch of tiny notebooks approached me. She began a rehearsed speech about the importance of the library and suggested I take a brief survey. She showed me the tiny notebooks and offered one if I took the survey. I wanted to tell her to get lost but forced myself to be mannerly. She showed me the pad on which there were rigamarole questions such as how long have you used the library, etc. There was also a rectangular space in which she expected me to write something or other. At that point, I stopped. She became pissed off and chided me for not continuing, saying I had given her permission to interview me. I had? Why am I whining? Because I’ve been receiving this kind of survey request from restaurants as in tell us what you especially liked about our restaurant; from hospitals as in describe your appointment with Doctor X. If it was a good visit, put it on social media. If it wasn’t get in touch with us at this link. Enough already.
The First Presbyterian Bazaar on Fifty Avenue was delightful. Parishioners’ hand-me-downs and hand-made Christmas ornaments were the specialty. The volunteers were very Christian: courteous, patient and out of change.