Carolina Salguero, right, founder of PortSide New York, with two members, Patti Kelly, left, and Jamie Keenan. They spread cheer Sunday across New York Harbor
a rather cool story. anyone who helps the forgotten celebrate a holiday is ok in my book!
A Sailor's Lot: Forgotten By All but a Ship of Elves
By ALAN FEUER
There are few souls more deserving of attention than the mariner who works on Christmas Day.
He is almost certain to be lonely, moored at anchor in some dingy channel of the harbor. He is likely to be sleep-deprived and dirty, having just come in from hauling fuel oil through the bay.
There may be ham or a rib roast in the galley, but it may be served by a man who smells of his socks. His holiday is certain to include the upkeep of steering gears or the greasing of a deck-winch. His sole companions are the seabirds and his grouchy, oil-stained mates.
So when the jolly 30-footer, with the pine wreath at its bow, rounds the cut past Erie Basin, off Red Hook in Brooklyn, there is a sudden lift in spirits. Three elves wave from the stern. The seaman's ears can, no doubt, hear the sounds of Christmas carols, sung by Elvis, drifting through a drapery of fog. The discerning nose can detect the scent of rum.
"Ahoy! We have cookies!" one of the elves calls out. So it was yesterday in New York Harbor, where scattered crews of tugboat hands and bargemen were treated to the trappings of an ordinary Christmas. It was a touch of holiday relief for those who have no holiday, called Operation Christmas Cheer.