(MSCC) John Mudd, May 10, 2015 — Madam Lugo has at least one son (is she married, divorced, widowed?) She lived for many years in a small apartment in a tenement building sitting midway on 38th Street between 8th and 9th Avenue in Manhattan . She is so much a part of the neighborhood (more than my 30-plus years), and yet, I never had so much as a cup of tea with her even though we live in the same apartment building. We would see each other many times in the hallway. We shared mutual greetings in passing. I held the front door for her, and she kindly allowed my spritely self to walk up or down the stairs before her elderly self…

I came to her defense over a few disputes with an insensitive neighbor living across the hall from her. He’d blast his stereo, come in and out slamming his door late at night, and allow his dog to urinate out his door—yes, in the hallway. I observed her shaking like she had a bad case of Parkinson’s one day, out of frustration for this insensitive wretch, and I felt compelled to remind this inconsiderate neighbor to have some respect. I took an additional step to squash further malfeasance and called the landlord, but fell short of banding the other tenants together to burn down his apartment—too much potential for it to spread to the rest of the building, leaving us all homeless.

What was her story? She should be celebrated for her wealth of experience. Hell, just plain living in this rough and rugged if-you-can-make-it-here-you-can-make-it-anywhere-city is enough to earn you confetti, horns, and cake. I wish she got that every year and I think she deserves much more. At the very least some respect and consideration. I am sure she is loved; her son, quiet and soft-spoken, but a tough-looking police officer, has been looking in on her over the past few years. But who makes up the rest of her family; friends? I know of at least one tenant that she was friendly with.  But I can’t help think we all should have tried to get to know her better. We all should know each other better, and be kinder. Now she is gone, not from this earth as of yet, but from her home. Diagnosed with cancer she is in hospice care now, away from her apartment on 38th Street.

An update: She has passed from this world on an uncertain day and time towards the end of April 2015.