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posted May 9, 2005

Ben's Memorial Lilacs

Ben Figuereido

Ben Figuereido, who lived in the apartment right next to the rink house, planted the grape vines by the rink fence and made himself useful as a park friend in many ways over the years. But as he got closer to eighty he had more and more aches in his body, and last December he took a step off his fourteenth floor balcony to finish his life.

Ben's grapevines are going into leaf now. The park gardeners wanted to plant a memorial to Ben, who loved flowers. They settled on planting some lilacs near the bench where Ben used to sit, in front of the rink house. The Parks Department (which has helped the park garden friends with compost, wood chips, fencing, and plants every year) came through again. The west region park supervisor Brian Green bought two lilac bushes as Ben's memorial. They're planted now, and when they bloom, they'll always remind us of Ben.

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