Friday, January 20, 2012

Gronk of the Flood

What do a day care center, a dinosaur, and a flood in upstate NY have in common?  One heck of a story is what.

In 2009 I blogged about the hART of BC, an organization founded by the grandson of Johnny Hart, the  native of this area who created the comics BC and Wizard of Id.  Mason Mastroianni, the cartoonist grandson who took over the comic strips when John Hart died, planned to have styrofoam dinosaurs, in honor of BC's Gronk character, decorate downtown Binghamton, NY during the summer of 2010.  The dinosaurs would then be auctioned off, proceeds going to charity.

The Gronk dinosaurs did come to downtown Binghamton. but didn't stay long, the victim of vandals.

Eventually, they were auctioned off and I found two of them last year.

Meanwhile, one of them had an amazing journey through time...and flood

Mom's House, a wonderful and worthy organization, had been a recipient of one of the auctioned dinosaurs.  The dinosaur found a home in their Johnson City day care location (in a neighborhood bordering mine) but that location was flooded, up to their ceiling, in the floods of September 7 and 8 caused by Tropical Storm Lee.

A ditch in my neighborhood bore silent witness in November, filled with ruined children's toys possibly from a child care center on Oakdale Road, and possibly from Mom's House or local private houses.

But there is one happy ending to this story, as the Mom's House Gronk was found in their yard by a family living on Oakdale Road.  Returning to their home after a three month absence, they found Gronk.  Not knowing who it belonged to, the heavy dinosaur was decorated for Christmas.

One day, Mom's House volunteers saw the dinosaur and contacted the family.  The dinosaur was returned to Mom's House at the end of last year.

With luck, Mom's House will return to Johnson City in June.

Johnny Hart would have been proud.

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