To The Daily Sun,
Twenty-five years ago I met a guy from Connecticut, Doug Frederick. Both of us were building motorcycles simultaneously with George Yarocki of Torrington, Connecticut. George was known around the world as one of the best and most respected restorers of Indian motorcycles. Doug was one of George's first pupils and had been with George many years before we met. They were building motorcycles for a Police Motorcycle Museum Doug planned on opening.
The dream was to share police motorcycle history. Doug always talked about how this would be a one of a kind museum.
I was there, the night before he opened the American Police Motorcycle Museum. I drove seven hours from New Jersey to help him finish several exhibits for opening day. We worked well into the night. It was very rewarding to watch Doug's ambitious dream come to fruition. It was especially special to see that the museum was dedicated to the man who helped bring Doug's dream to life, George Yarocki.
Doug spent years finding the right location and it seemed to be the perfect setting, but unfortunately the doors are now closed. The overwhelming smell from the crematorium (next door) makes it impossible to do business. It was not until the museum closed that I returned to Meredith to pick up one of my motorcycles. Like many others in the antique motorcycle hobby, I rotated some of my personal collection for display at the museum. I plan on continuing this practice once Doug moves to his new location. It was upsetting to see Doug's emotion gone, but I also saw his determination to bring this dream back together.
The owners of the motorcycles on display have been kept in the loop about what is going on. This is what prompted me to compose the letter. I have been following the press relating to this issue and continue to read in disbelief that no one from any news organization has asked why the Town of Meredith has allowed this all to unfold. How were the rights of Doug Frederick, to use and enjoy his property, bargained away? The most absurd comment by far is the Meredith town manager describing this as a neighbor dispute or simply a civil matter. I think it is a health issue. I read that an elderly couple drove past the museum and was caught in traffic. After experiencing the fumes, they needed to use a rescue inhaler to breathe normally. Fifteen people, five of which were police officers, all described the stretch of road as "stinking." And imagine the feeling when one finds out what is creating the stench, a crematorium in a heavily populated area.
I was surprised to read in a previous article in which the residue found on the museum property is only a nuisance, when all the complaints state that the horrific stench that makes people sick should be the primary concern. Why isn't the cause of the problem addressed? The buildings are too close, the chimney too low and additional filters are needed.
In closing, there is a famous media personality who stated famously, "Smell something — say something." That comment offered as intended by Jon Stewart sums up this sad story perfectly.
James M. Garripoli
Wall, New Jersey
- Category: Letters
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