Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Vermont Pharmacy: The "Our Lady of Vilnius" of the Apothecary World

Yesterday's New York Times Metro Section featured an article by Kareem Fahim, Filling in a Few Blanks in an Old Brooklyn Real Estate Mystery. The store in many ways reminded me of Our Lady of Vilnius. I actually felt a pang when I saw that wood framed screen door because it was so much like the one on the back of our rectory. Even the title resonates. I suspect our church and the rectory harbor some real estate mysteries of their own. Here are some quotes:

"Dust has settled on a generation of clutter",

"The shuttered pharmacy could be a location in a film about some mysterious cataclysm — killer spores? aliens? — that emptied a 1950s town, or it could be a scene from a blighted city, the commercial casualty of a Main Street abandoned by shoppers and hope.

Instead, it is a curiosity. The longtimers seem to know more about the place than they let on, about the eccentric homeopath, Mark Stein, who owns the building and is still seen visiting. The new residents peer into the windows and move on, knowing little about the puppeteers who helped run the place; or the gunrunner who worked as a clerk in a pharmacy that occupied the space before; or, in much earlier days, the British gentleman-thief with a taste for diamonds who lived upstairs. No one seems to know exactly why it shut down.

It’s frozen in time,” said Franco Ficili, the president of La Societa di Pozzallo, a cultural club for natives of a Sicilian town that sits across the street from the pharmacy. “I’m here 30 years. He just closed his door. What he does in there, I have no idea.”"

Mr. Fahim's imaginative and poetic take on this pharmacy could well be applied to our church and rectory. I wish that he would turn his gaze here and plumb our mysteries, too.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The good people of Our Lady of Vilnius are real heroes in their perseverance for fairness, justice, and wisdom in the murky dealings of New York archdiocese. There are many analogies, but this case is unique and sends the message not to give up in the most dire circumstances. Saulius Simoliunas