So, Monday arrived and we left the hotel with memorial plaque in hand to meet up with the lovely folks from the Camden County Parks System. Our liaison with their department is Ashley Pagan. She arrived with her coworker at app. 11:00 and the discussion of where to put the memorial bench began.
Jessie Jo has been dealing with Ashley directly since the project was conceived. Ashley and the Camden County Parks System people have been very helpful and accommodating. If you remember, they allowed more words on the plaque and also approved the use of an image (Michael as Little Joe with the Ponderosa Ranch House). We want to thank them again for that. Ashley was very helpful and enthusiastic and, in the end, we got everything we hoped and wished for!
Arriving at the same time as Ashley was Bob Hasting of the Collingswood Public Works Department. Abbe Effron told us that the Public Works Dept. is the one that maintains 'The Little Tree House in the Park' as well as the rose bushes surrounding the pillar and memorial plaque. She suggested we contact them in regards to any landscaping for the bench. Bob was super-nice and super-excited to be involved. He told us how his daughter fell in love with Michael Landon at five years old and everything in their house was 'Michael' for a long time! Bob is a Collingswood native and has connections to some of the older inhabitants of the borough. He mentioned several still living who went to school with young Eugene Orowitz. We hope, before the dedication ceremony, to get in touch with some of them.
Perhaps we will have a new story to tell!
After we gathered and exchanged greetings, the six of us crossed the street to the area where the bench was to be placed. Our first 'yippee!' moment was finding out that the bench could - and would - go directly across from Michael's house!