Tree guardian and mayor of 24th Street
There is a beautiful old tree on the south side of 24th Street, in front of 238 East 24th Street, near Second Avenue. It rises high into the sky in the shape of a crucifix.
The base of the tree is surrounded by cobblestones that fail to protect it from the dogs that are allowed to deposit their waste in the tree bed, daily.
For many years, Anthony Jacona has been affectionately called The Mayor of 24th Street. Weekly, he tends to the tree. He tosses the soil with his shovel and waters this stately gem. One day last summer, Anthony was bent over tending the soil. His shoulder was drooping. He told me he was scheduled for surgery the next day, but he had to make sure the tree was taken care of.
After a successful surgery, Anthony is still tending the tree. His one wish is that someone would install a tree guard to keep out the dogs. It is the only tree on the block without a tree guard.
Young, 91-year-old Anthony Jacona, has lived on the block for more than 50 years. He can recall when they played stickball, on Sundays, in the street when there was a Third Avenue El and no cars on the block.
We salute the Mayor of 24th Street!
Claude L. Winfield, EMP