A short time Central Park could provide inspiration for a dozen stories. Just sitting on one bench for an hour introduced me to a couple of new characters I’m tucking away for later use. We are just two blocks from Central Park, and we are traveling with a seven-year-old, so we are seeing a lot of the park.

One of my favorite activities is to walk by the benches slowly enough to read the little plaques. (I am assuming that donors to the park were given a plaque in return for their gifts.) There are the predictable “Celebrating ten years of marriage” and quite a lot of simple memorials. There have been quit a few that are delectable morsels of short-short stories that peak the imagination.

One row of about ten benches all sported memorials to one guy named Andy, who died well loved by his “women walking buddies” various family and friends. Beyond that we don’t learn much about Andy other than he walked around Jerusalem and appeared to have died young.

This pair, found on two benches next to each other–a story of lovely, anonymous hope: