Councilman Luis Cotto clearly forgot that he asked me stay on him about his plan to start a fund to save the remaining portion of the old Lyric Theater.
Because there I was Tuesday afternoon, doing just that, and being met by one excuse after another.
The budget put everything else on hold, Cotto said when I reminded him it'd been more than a month since our last conversation about the old theater.
He was waiting on an answer from the city treasurer about how to set up the account, he went on.
Whether today or tomorrow, he said, a bit defensively, it'll get done.
Look, I told Cotto, people keep asking about the future of the Park Street portion of the old Lyric, and that fund.
In fact, I'd just gotten a lovely handwritten letter from a former resident now living in Massachusetts with a vivid memories of the theater, and a strong desire to see it preserved.
"On Sunday, Dec. 7 1941, my parents, brother and two sisters and I left the Lyric to be greeted by newsboys with the "x-tras" announcing Pearl Harbor," the woman wrote. "I'll never forget the scene."
She enclosed $10 check for the "Save the Lyric Fund."
So now I have to call it the Lyric Fund? Cotto joked.
Call it the Cotto Fund for all I care -- but if we let too much time pass without fixing the remaining portion of the crumbling building, we're going to find ourselves watching another excavator tearing down another piece of Hartford's vanishing history.
Shortly after our conversation, Cotto called back. He should have followed up, he admitted.
He just talked to the city treasurer and hoped to have an account set up within the next week or two.
Now was that so hard?
And if it turns out it is - no worries. I'll follow up.
Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant.
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