Friday, May 06, 2011

Meet Mr. Burke, The"'Lucky Irishman" Of 4th Place

Bob Burke of 4th Place in his garden
The heart of marigolds which Bob has planted for 25 years in remembrance of his wife
Bob Burke and his daughter Marcie (with Petey, the dog)
A plaque in Bob's garden to commemorate his loved ones.

This post is for Alicia in North Carolina. A while back she contacted me to let me know about a very special neighborhood garden on 4th Place. She wrote: "My Dad, Bob Burke, has been delighting the area with his garden for more that 25 years. He plants what he calls "Margie's Heart" and young and old stop to admire it. He loves to remember my Mother but also creates this scene to reach out to his neighbors. I think a picture of "Margie's Heart" would be a nice addition to your Blog."
I agreed and contacted Alicia's sister Marcy who introduced me to Bob and to his heart of marigolds. And what a pleasure it was. Bob Burke is a lovely man.

Bob (90) has lived on 4th Place since 1930. He arrived in this country from Ireland when he was just a child and first lived in Carroll Gardens with his aunt. He remembers a simpler time in the neighborhood. "I played fistball on the street. You were lucky if there were three cars on the block."

As a young man he spent three years in the National Guard. He saw action at Guadalcanal and in the Philippines. In between, he spent 2 months in New Zealand. "Those two months there were beautiful." he told me.

When he came back to Carroll Gardens, he never left again. It's obvious that he loves his neighborhood, his home and his family. "I am a lucky Irishman." he tells me with a twinkle in his eye.
Bob, it was a real pleasure meeting you. I will make sure to walk past your garden often.
And to Margie and Alicia, thanks for introducing me to your dad.


Georgia Kral said...

What a beautiful garden and a lovely story! People like this make our neighborhood extra special!

BevD said...

Ive known of this beautiful garden for more than 15 or more years. Everytime i walked by Mr. Burke's beautiful garden i would wave, as i was walking my two dogs. With tears in my eye, i always shout out- beautiful. Always a wave and a thank you from Mr. Burke. I never noticed the plaque in the background. Now, i see him sometimes sitting by the boot black store- with their lil dog. As i pass, i say, how are you doing today? Always with a wave of his hand and a smile on his face,as his lil dog sometimes sits by him or lays on his lap, he says im doing ok.

Anonymous said...

Heart warming.