For over 85 years my wife's family has had a little beach house at White Sands Beach, Old Lyme. Recently we had, like everyone in the area, an un-invited guest ... Sandy.
I was in Connecticut to close that beach house down for the winter. Except for the big night of the storm, I stayed at the cottage most of the week without power while trying to put it all back together. Just staying in that beach community was something I could not have done without the help of lots of people ... both friends and strangers.
As it has it, I had brought with me some embroidered patches with the image of a hand and the math pi symbol on it. The "Hand Pi" patch looks like a Boy Scout merit badge for giving a "Helping Hand" and it seems appropriate as a token of my appreciation to give that merit badge to people who helped me. I don't know the names of all 25 "Helping Hand Awards" I gave out but I would like to acknowledge some of them: Ed, Public Works Supervisor and the equipment operators for getting me passage in and out. Teddy's Pizza on Rt. 156 who's family and workers worked 14 hours a day to feed myself, residents and emergency workers. The firemen who secure all the lose propane tanks. Ozzie and Abdul for all the hot coffee and supplies. The First Selectman for being at her desk with an open door and personally helping me get permits to dump the storm debris. Peter at Shore and Country Reality for checking on me and bringing me food. The Red Cross volunteers who gave me water and a clean up kit. John Flowers, Building Inspector who condemned my electrical system and maybe saved my house from burning down. I also gave Helping Hand badges to some neighbors and to two FEMA guys just for being there.
Thank you Old Lyme.