Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Demobbed


The last Mob. Photo: Caitlin Nolan, editor of The Ditmas Park Patch

The Last Litter Mob took place yesterday in Prospect Park. You can read my post about it at Litter Mob Blog. And Frank posted his thoughts on Leaving the Woods, too.

Vince often asked me, How long are you going to keep doing this? He had been there for the first few mobs last year, in sticky, humid May. He hated it. He hated the used condoms, the human excreta, he hated the bottles and trash. He hated that the park was not looked after by the people paid to do it. He had no patience with the whole business. But he supported me, because he knew how I felt about it. He was worried about me, about scratches on my hands, the shit on my boots and possible contact with human bodily fluids. I told him that if I saw no obvious change in attitude from the decision-making stewards of the park after a year, I would quit.

He is ecstatic that it is over. I think he skipped around a little.

It may only have been three hours every other week, plus travel, but it was more in terms of coordinating volunteers (a sterling but tiny handful showed up regularly, but my mailing list is dozens and dozens long), as well editing images, writing about it and staying touch with media who contacted me, and the media to whom I reached out to advertise our activities. It could easily have become a fulltime, and fulfilling, job.

But I reached that year mark, and I kept my promise.

And now I must focus on my own work. Gardening and writing and taking pictures and cooking: Next fall my first book will be published by Stewart, Tabori and Chang. It's very exciting. And they need my manuscript and pictures long, long before...And yes, it will called 66 Square Feet. Big smile.

The woods will still be there.

26 comments:

  1. A very big smile, Marie. Keep up the lovely work and I'm glad Vince persuaded you to leave the very distressing park stuff. I'm looking forward to your book--is it too soon to reserve on Amazon? xoxo

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  2. A very big smile, Marie. Keep up the lovely work and I'm glad Vince persuaded you to leave the very distressing park stuff. I'm looking forward to your book--is it too soon to reserve on Amazon? xoxo

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  3. Commendable effort Marie! Also will be looking forward to your book!!

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  4. I think I must side with Beence on this. But that does not detract from your effort. If they gave out medals for at least trying, you surely would have one.
    Good news on the book.
    PS..please tell Storbie that today I saw a squirrel! He'll know.

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  5. I certainly admire your community activism. At the same time, I understand Vince's point of view. It's good you kept your promise. Estorbo with black armband and beret, "Viva la multitud la basura!"

    And the book! That will simplify my Christmas shopping.

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  6. A book! I'm thrilled for you, and can't wait to buy a copy. Cheers, Marie, and thank you for sharing your life with us.

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  7. Bravo - on both counts! You tried, you led, you publicized. And now you can enjoy the journey towards your book.

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  8. BOOOOOOKKK! Well deserved big smile!!

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  9. You do deserve a medal! I would have quit many moons ago in an angry display of disgust, rage, pride and disdain, criticizing here and condemning there.

    You kept your cool and your promise, and you inspired others. Kudos.

    And may the guilty be punished by their own actions, or the lack thereof.

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  10. While I rooted for the Litter Mob's efforts -- a Sysiphean task -- I, too, am relieved that this journey has come to an end. You and your mobsters deserve an award! And like your other readers, I so look forward to your future endeavors.

    'Kaika is purring in agreement.

    Keli'i

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  11. A book! How perfect! I remember wishing that you had one out, when we met, in 2009. Yay!!! So pleased for you. And obvs: good things come to those who wait.

    Also: congrats on your year in the woods. Action activism at its best. I hope it sticks like a thorn, in whom in should. xo

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  12. I am so proud of all your hard work and dedication to Prospect Park over this past year. I know it was killer hard and so frustrating that the City just didn't give a damn - not ever.

    You know how pleased I am about the book, and glad it's public now. You go, Girl!!!

    How can we help? (Well, other than by buying many, many copies!) Thinking good thoughts.

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  13. I've been secretly hoping for a book. Everyone will get one for Christmas. So excited for you! Well done, Marie, for the mobbing as well.

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  14. This afternoon I heard a piece on the radio (WCBS 880) about the demise of the litter mob. I kept hoping they'd cut to an interview with you. You gave them more than they deserved; I'm sorry they didn't rise to your challenge.

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  15. Add me to the list of book buyers. And it won't be a Christmas present to anyone but me.

    Can't wait.

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  16. Happy writing and a big fat congrats on the book.

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  17. Marie - I know EXACTLY how you feel. I am involved with the Friends of Arderne Gardens (in Claremont) and have been frustrated trying to work with the Cape Town City Council Parks Department who love to generate talk, meetings and e-mails, but NOTHING ACTUALLY GETS DONE! This past summer, many of the very old Rhododendrons and not so old hydrangeas, as well as some trees succumbed to the drought and heat. Not because there was no water, but because the "gardeners" there simply could not be bothered to pull out hosepipes, connect them and water. I cannot go into these gardens any more - its so SAD

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  18. A book, what wonderful news, Marie! I'd also like to extend my heartiest congratulations to you and say I look forward picking up a copy next fall.

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  19. All I can think to say is that you're such a good egg. Mazel tov on the new book.

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  20. A valiant effort but time to throw in the towel. Congrats on the book!

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  21. People here (South Africa) are astonished that in that "concrete jungle"(to them, New York) there are woods and forests in the middle of a city. What a privilege - and what a shame. Come on New York City. Keep your treasures. They are precious.

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  22. Please consider this an advance order! I'm so excited for you.

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  23. Oh how sad; but a task that overwhelming does, indeed need "MOBS" to work, nd of course, extreme caring by the masses. Thanks for your efforts!!
    ..and the book- how exciting!!! PLEASE, PLEASE have
    sections on soil and caring-
    Jan

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  24. Thank you very, very much for all your good wishes.

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  25. Congrats Marie, how wonderful to have all your work chronicled into a beautiful bound keepsake for all to read. Looking forward to the launch!

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  26. I'm in Michigan -- and probably will never see Prospect Park. But as I read this today, I feel so inspired by what you and your co-workers did! Thank you so much!

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