A couple of days ago The New York Times ran a feature on Jess Buzzuto, who as it turns out, is my local leprechaun. Who knew!
I happen to love Nepperhan Avenue in Yonkers. It has that industrial strength charm that is, unfortunately, more recently pegged as "blighted." Whenever I drive home that way, I imagine what it would be like to live in some of the older residences sprinkled among the industries and think of the blessed silence that must reign there on the weekends.
From this article, I learned that one of the houses that I most admire belongs to Jess Bizzuto. The house sits on a corner atop a slope. In the spring and summer every surface is covered with flowering plants, like a living, stationary Tournament of Roses Float. There is always an American flag made of begonias.
Susan Dominus' piece, titled Bit by Bit, Coming to Terms With His Elfin Self draws a moving portrait of the gardener. The story portrays a great guy who takes what could have been a limitation, and parlays it into a boon to himself and others. Short of stature and stocky, Mr. Buzzutto does not resist his natural resemblance to a leprechaun and started playing into type, bringing joy to himself and others.
In my world of dreams, Our Lady of Vilnius would sit on top of his corner lot in Yonkers like the Parthenon and Jess Buzzutto would be sitting at a table in the basement, joshing with Father Eugene and the Knights (of Columbus) Council 12.
God bless you, Mr. Buzzutto, and Erin go Bragh! Now when I admire your garden, I can admire you, too.
photo by Richard Perry/The New York Times