Sometimes the Simplest Things are the Sweetest

Where Seven Died, a ‘Shining Star’
"I tried to set up a memorial that meant something,” said Roy Holder, in front of his creation.
from the New York Times
Published: August 3, 2008
[On] 50th Street near Second Avenue is a memorial that has been expanding for months, growing in complexity, size and emotional impact. In the wake of a crane collapse on 51st Street east of Second Avenue that killed seven people in March, a homeless man who lives on East 50th Street has built and maintained an intricate memorial.
This makeshift marker comes complete with a table and chairs, candles and blown-glass vases, and includes a sapling and tree branches painted white. Lovingly assembled, the display features a flowery yellow centerpiece, ceramic pots and a vivid piece of art painted on an eight-foot-high sheet of plywood.
Today, more than three months after he began assembling it, Roy Holder, the homeless man, still cleans and cares for his creation seven days a week.
“I tried to set up a memorial that meant something,” said Mr. Holder, who is 54 and has lived on this stretch between First and Second Avenues for seven years. “This is a shining star amongst the muck and the mud.”
Mr. Holder is careful, however, to credit the appearance of both the sapling and the sprawling painting of a cross inside a pink-rimmed heart to an unknown man in his 50s who used to come by on weekends and sit in front of the memorial.


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