It was over in the blink of an eye. And if you blinked, you missed it.
The groundbreaking for Park 526 took exactly 2 seconds. The rest of the time was spent waiting for the Mayor.
It was kind of comical. There were more camera trucks on the sidewalk than residents in the park-to-be. After a long wait in high winds, residents saw the Mayor, surrounded by an entourage including the alderman but not Ira, coming down the long walkway to the far end of the vacant lot that will become the park. He shook hands with three or four people and then walked directly to a mound of dirt near the center of the area, the camera crews lined up on its other side. The Mayor, the alderman, and a couple of other people picked up shovels, smiled into the cameras, then dropped the shovels and walked away, leaving stunned residents still walking to the side of the mound to take their own pictures. But before they could see what was happening, it was over. No welcome, no speeches, no honored guests introduced.
Groundbreaking accomplished, the Mayor and his entourage walked away. The alderman posed for pictures. Sirens screaming, the Mayor left the neighborhood.
Watching this non-event, it occurred to me that the reason the alderman had not informed the neighborhood about it earlier is that she didn’t know when it would occur. The groundbreaking was clearly tied to the mayor’s schedule. I’ll bet she learned on Tuesday morning that the Mayor could give her 3 minutes on Wednesday afternoon.
And that’s how long he stayed.
I can hardly wait for the groundbreaking for the new library.