Spooky Times & A Year Zips By


I met Carmel Councilman Mike Barile at last week’s Trailblazer awards, at the Villa Barone on Oct. 29. The gathering celebrated economic and business leadership in the county. He was cordial. I told him I’d be happy to hear his views on this sewer situation in Mahopac.

But, no Checkers-like speech yet.

Monday will be another Veterans Day, the 11th day of the 11th month. Have you been to a veterans service or patriotic gathering of some kind this year? Memorial Day, July 4th? September 11th? As time zips by, our veterans are aging. Those from World War II, we will be fortunate to have even a few years with them, if that.

In these fraught times, I think it would serve us well to remember, and talk to, veterans who fought for a greater good. They did so at considerable risk, and often sacrifice, because a nation called. If we were called, would we give the same answer those brave men and women did?

Was this timing coincidental?

So Friday morning – early, like 4 am, mere hours after the end of Halloween – Hazel the wonder poodle needed to go outside. I dressed, put her harness and leash on, and we headed to the elevator down the hall. She’s trained reasonably well to sit for a treat while we wait, so that was good.

The car arrives, the chime sounds, the door opens, we get on. The door closes. I press the G for ground. Nothing. Hmm. I press 1. Nothing. I press ‘door open.’ Nothing. I notice that none of the lights are backlit, and they commonly are.

I press more buttons. It seemed like all of them, and maybe it was. Nothing. I understand now how Hitchcock made such effective use of closed spaces, or of big, wide-open spaces, in his films. The mind moves pretty rapidly at such times, I can report.

Then, more deliberate now, I press the ‘phone for help’ button. It goes through but drops. I try again, reach a person this time. Who is sympathetic, but doesn’t tell me ‘we’ll have you out in 5 minutes, Mr. Cunningham.’

Meanwhile, Hazel, remember, had to relieve herself. Was it because she’s just a dog or because she’s really smart that she stayed calm? Luckily, I had left our apartment with my phone and, more good fortune, it had at least some power. I now called the building lockout number. Which ultimately yielded a person. At some point several minutes later, the elevator moved, the door opened. We were free to trot outside, none the worse for wear. Save for those fleeting thoughts of Hitchcock.

Until next week.

Doug Cunningham is editor of the PCNR, in Cold Spring, and of the Putnam County Courier. Reach him at 845-265-2468 or Letters are welcome and should be 500 words or less. Include a hometown and phone number for confirmation. Send as an email or Word document, not a PDF.

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