In Praise of Charlene…

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Baby, its cold outside! Especially on the mall at Borough Hall, with the wind whipping off the river. The crowd was thin and in a hurry.  However, just when the Collective Granny Reserves were beginning to fade, a woman walks up and asks what’s happening.

Meet Charlene — a Staten Island resident and nurse who clocked in hundreds of hours in the rescue efforts at Ground Zero. Her reward? A terribly compromised respiratory system, a diseased thyroid, blood pressure issues and skin problems. Unable to work and fighting the bureaucracy for disability, she is still full of beans and smarts. She calls Shumer’s office and gives a chilling, eloquent testimony against further killing, destruction and wars — and reminds the aide at the end of the phone that she works as a nurse for the soccer league that has one of the Schumer girls on a team.

2009_10_01charlene

Thanks for reminding us about a lot of things, Charlene — and we are proud that you’re now wearing one of our buttons.

– Fran Sears
Photo: Eva-Lee Baird
for the Granny Peace Brigade