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Let the Doris Diether sunshine in! Help fund legendary activist’s memorial park bench

BY SHARON WOOLUMS | Since Doris Diether’s passing, many, wanting to honor her, have suggested naming the Washington Square Park fountain, the street where she lived, the city!! after Doris.

All that is a long, involved process. Lois Rakoff, wanted something now: a bench for Doris. She started and executed the process, deftly recruiting the Washington Square Park Conservancy to manage fundraising. The conservancy’s Grace Harman, together with the wizardly webmeister skills of Zella Jones, produced this beautiful keepsake montage of Doris photos that will make you smile.

In deciding which bench it should be, I remembered how, walking through the park, I would always hope for a Doris sighting because it would always bring me joy. There she would be, with her pals, feeding the pigeons and the squirrels underneath the tree.

Oct. 13, 2021, was Doris’s spectacular memorial, thanks to Erin Rogers, Hellen Osgood and others — as they say, “It takes a Village.” No Village is like Greenwich Village!

To donate to the Doris Diether Bench Memorial, click here.

On Oct. 30, after reading and posting The Village Sun’s lovely piece about Doris’s memorial, I wrote on Facebook: “Still basking in the afterglow of the most beautiful sendoff anybody could wish for — Doris is smiling rays of sunshine on us all.”

Halloween, the next day, dressed in my fortunetelling costume, I brought flowers to frame the makeshift poster Lois and I had made for the designated Doris bench. A stranger took my photo. I was drenched in sunrays — just like I had mentioned in my post the night before!

Yes, it could just be the camera’s reflection… . I’d rather imagine, though, it was Doris sending her rays of sunbeams as she always did when I saw her on that bench. I am sure many of you will sit on Doris’s bench and feel sunbeams of love imbued with her spirit…and remember a sweeter time, pre-pandemic, pre-lockdown, before threats of nuclear war. Sitting there, may you meditate or say a little prayer that we may all get back to the garden.

To donate to the Doris Diether Bench Memorial, click here.

Woolums is an official member, the Doris Diether Fan Club.

One Comment

  1. lynn pacifico lynn pacifico March 22, 2022

    Beautiful, magical photo and writing, Sharon. Thank you.

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