Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Even Pale Male saluted Marty at his bench dedication

Marty's Bench-- with plaque and memorabilia
Photo [and photos on bench] by ARDITH BONDI

On February 15, 2012, an invitation sent out by birder Chris Cooper went out to the Central Park birding community:

Many of you remember the late Marty Sohmer, one of the best beloved birders in the metro area and an all-around fine human being. And you may remember a fundraising drive back in October to "adopt" a Central Park bench in his honor. We are pleased to announce that the bench will be dedicated on the morning of Monday, March 5, with an informal ceremony in the Central Park Ramble. Join us at the Central Park Boathouse, where promptly at 8 AM we'll make our way the short distance to the bench. Everyone is welcome, whether you knew Marty or just want to get to know him through those who loved him. Bring your best Marty stories and/or, if you like, something non-alcoholic with which to toast this warm, generous, one-of-a-kind character who frequented both Central Park and Prospect Park, taught a lot of us so much of what we know about our birds, and played a big part in fostering the community atmosphere that prevails in our metro birding circles. We hope to see you all there. --The Committee for a Marty Sohmer Park Bench

Yesterday was March 5th, and indeed , the dedication became a reality. Jack Meyer provides a report:

It was a grand party. And kept from being too long by the fact that many had to get to work. A beautiful morning. At 8 a.m. a large crowd made its way from the Boathouse to the Feeders at the Evodia Field, where the bench with a plaque celebrating Marty was located.

While I was telling a Marty-story to start things off, the group was distracted by Pale Male, who soared high above the bench. Unless that was Marty's spirit taking that form to come check on things.