Our beloved author, Eleanor Lerman, lives on Long Island, NY, with her partner Robin. As our thoughts have been with a number of friends, family, and colleagues along the East Coast where so many are still piecing their lives back together, we’re thankful to receive this email below from Eleanor.
How We Got Our Power Back:
Well, a miracle happened on Thursday night–we got our power back. A LIPA crew came by and initially refused to turn on our power because we had to first contact all 30-plus condo owners and get them to come back to “slowly” turn the circuit breakers back on (all are gone except for us and one neighbor)–but Robin, who used to be a volunteer fireperson and an EMT showed them her badges from both services and assured them our building had been green-stickered by FEMA (it had) even though the stickers had disappeared in the nor’easter. (Green stickers from FEMA mean that your building is ok to receive electricity.) So, as horrible as this experience has been, it was so important that we stayed to do this because the firemen who were with LIPA essentially told LIPA “she’s one of us, turn on the electricity .” First our porch lights went on but no house lights. So Robin and our neighbor went into the back yard, held hands, pulled a giant switch, and then God said, let there be light, and there was. I should also set the scene for you: Robin is a tiny girl. She was dressed like Levon Helm in Coal Miners Daughter with scarves tying down her two wool watch caps and she was carrying what looks like a miner’s lamp. Our neighbor was dressed like the fat wife in Fiddler on the Roof, since he was wearing daughter’s mink and a babushka- like scarf on his head (it’s been very cold). It was like a drag show being put on by the MASH guys, with an equally poignant finale.