After walking the area that he had chosen for the trees, he and I brainstormed an idea of a garden with five trees. He wanted all the trees to ultimately have the branches touch showing unity. Each tree would represent the five armed services: Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, and Coast Guard. With the help of Chris Donnelly another friend, we marked out a path and roughly marked where the trees would be planted. I drew up a sketch of the idea and sadly the whole thing was put to bed, for a while. From there, Bud would gently nudge the commissioner, and a few other people at the Healthcare Center. There were a few road blocks, but three years later and two commissioners later, we got the okay to move forward with the garden.
Bud made his first phone call to a large business that he had connections with through the Army. He was in the service with owner and Vice Chairman of O&G Industries, Inc., Ray Oneglia. They had talked a few times and initially Ray had committed to building the walkway that would go through the garden. When Bud made is second call to Ray to tell him we got the okay to go ahead with the job, within a few short days, and a talk with the GM of O&G, Leo Nardi, the walkway was started. An excavator and three men were at the site at 6:30 on Wednesday morning on October 11th and construction began.
|digging and checking the grade|
|Our test drivers and workcrew|
After our test drivers gave us an evaluation, there were a few changes to be made. We were ready for the asphalt.