Thursday, October 20, 2016

In Our Hearts

The Bergen Volunteer Center and Bergen LEADS lost a great friend last week with the passing of Kevin Wright.

Kevin had a wonderful way of making Bergen County's history so relevant and so immediate.  The first time I heard him speak, he read random headlines from Bergen County newspapers.  The headlines from 1870 and 1890 were so similar to the ones in 2009.  As we tried to guess the era, Kevin had that delightful, impish smile on his face, as we got it wrong every time.

After the Arab Spring, Kevin urged us to remember that the very notion of representative democracy would not exist had George Washington not saved the bridge at New Bridge Landing. As we stood looking at the little bridge, he drew pictures of the hopes and dreams of people the world over--to live in a government for the people, by the people.

Whenever I think about the local economy, I remember Kevin describing Bergen County as the "Saudi Arabia" of New York--as our forests fueled the industrial revolution.  And local debates about growth, development and education were waged between the "pumpkin dusters" and the "city folk."

Kevin reminded us always that our history is rich, relevant and just below the surface of so much of what we do and experience today.

We have lost a good friend and a masterful teacher. He will be sorely missed, but I will delight in quoting his wonderful turns of phrase.

Lynne Algrant

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