Saturday, October 13, 2007

Mary Vic

A week ago Thursday, I spent eight hours in the Emergency Room with excruciating pain around my middle. While I awaited an answer on what might be the cause, I glanced out and saw a plaque stating that a nearby room had been built with a donation from Dr. Merton Griswold and Mary V. Griswold. Just the sight of those names made me feel better as I thought of that good-hearted pair.

Dr. Griswold, who could have driven a BMW or Mercedes-Benz, chose a green Checker cab as his signature vehicle. It brought a smile to the faces of many to see that jaunty cab on the streets of Plainfield and to me it represented a bit of whimsy that set off the Griswolds' mostly sensible outlook on life. Clues to their good deeds are all over Plainfield, but they were not dour do-gooders. Mary Vic could laugh with delight over discoveries in the garden or tales of a yellow-crowned night heron sighted in the pond at Cedar Brook Park. She enjoyed conversation and sharing opinions, even at an age when others might prefer to be silent sages. Life always seemed new to Mary Vic, with more to know and and enjoy.

Dr. Griswold left us some time ago, and now so has Mary Vic. I for one will miss her uncomplicated personality, her simplicity, her goodness. The Audubon Society has something called the Rare Bird Alert that brings droves to marvel at a unique winged creature. In Plainfield there are hundreds of people who knew Mary Vic as a rara avis in their midst - one of a kind, a treasured human being, never to be forgotten.

A memorial service will be held for Mary Vic at noon today in the First Unitarian Society of Plainfield, 724 Park Ave.

--Bernice Paglia


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