On Sunday May 11th, 2008, the one year memorial for Eddie Boros the creator of the Tower of Toys was held in the 6th and B Community Garden. The NYC Parks department had just declared the tower unsafe and that it must come down. Eddie Boros was an amazing character, he had to be in order to build and preserve from destruction his 60 foot ramshackle tower of salvaged timber and rotting toys from 1985 until 2008, a full year after he died. I combined the interviews with the many photos I’ve taken of the tower, plus photos on the garden bulletin board, as well as some that people put on the garden fence after Eddie died in 2007.
In part one I talk to:
I simply asked everyone to give me their stories about Eddie. He touched a lot of people, the stories were great.
Part Two: Eddie’s Big Wind
A fierce wind and rain storm, Monday night after the memorial, leaves the tower dangerously leaning into the garden. This accelerates the Parks Department’s plans to tear it down. I again interview the gardeners : Joanee Freedom, Pat Russell, Graywolf and William Hohauser. And we hear from gardeners: Barbara (Improvisational poetry), Steve Jones Daughs (drums) and Tim Young (a sad witness to the final fall of the tower).Â Plus we hear from various neighbors who were unhappy to see it go, and John, the single angry, vocal protester on the morning of the take-down.
Graywolf tells a great story about how the tower almost came down in an ice storm in 1994, and how Eddie got his friends from Sophie’s bar to save it.
Joanee gives more garden history, and shares her theory about the storm being Eddie’s Wind.
William shares some insight into how Eddie expressed his spirituality.
And Barbara Monoian from the Musee de Monoian gallery says that Eddie was the neighborhood’s “keeper of history.”
A couple of neighbors expressed glee within earshot that the “pile of junk” was finally gone, but no one was willing to go on camera to say it.
Part Three, the probable final part, is tentatively titled, Some Toys Survive. It deals with the aftermath of the take-down in the garden. For one thing, the area, no longer in the tower’s shadow, is growing lush. For another, Eddie’s toys will likely be given to people in return for gifts of new toys for needy kids, as opposed to auctioning them to support garden needs. There is no date yet on this event, as far as I know.