Ice Cream Parlor Funds Bench Restoration Effort
Last Friday, Kate Pryor and David Lee, (at the far right) from Tucker’s Ice Cream presented Save the Bench with a check for $1,265, the entire proceeds from the sale of a very special flavor of ice cream they created "Dumb Friends Bench Blueberry Buckle."
Accepting the check (from left to right) are Jack Mingo, Jim Manning, Nancy Hird and Betsy Mathieson. Mingo, Murray and Mathieson represent Save the Bench. Hird represents the Alameda Architectural Preservation Society.
Park Avenue resident Isabelle Clark commissioned the bench in 1920 at the southern end of Jackson Park to honor her late husband, George B. Clark.
An animal lover and early member of the Alameda County Humane Society, Isabelle intended the bench, which originally had a pet watering station attached at one end, to provide rest and refreshment to animals and their owners.
The inscription "In Memory of My Dumb Friends" refers to animals unable to speak. The reference was most likely inspired by Our Dumb Friends League, a British animal welfare organization known as "Blue Cross" today.
A storm felled a palm tree, which fell on the bench, causing hairline cracking to the bench and more severe damage to the base. Isabelle’s inscription was partially destroyed.
More money is needed before the project can proceed. Donate by sending a check payable to the Alameda Architectural Preservation Society with "Save the Bench" on the memo line. Mail your check to P. O. Box 1677, Alameda CA 94501. You can also donate using PayPal at www.savethebench.org.
"Donations will ensure that future generations will be able to enjoy this unique contribution to Alameda history," said Mathieson.