Our Town: First Lady recognizes WP businesses

Dr Tom Ferraro

About one year ago I published a piece called ‘Village Cobbler, a fine craftsman” for this column.  

Anthony Mucci, our town cobbler for over 29 years was such a decent hardworking man that I said that President Obama ought to send him a note of acknowledgement.  

When the piece came out I sent the article to the White House and waited for a response. None came.

Not to be discouraged  on Dec. 6 I  published  “An open letter to the President” again asking him to write back to us here in Williston Park to acknowledge people like Anthony Mucci, Dr. Paltzik, John Robinson and Luigi Suppa. When that piece came out I laminated it and sent it off to President Obama with a letter explaining my request.  

Once again I heard nothing back.  

When I told my friends about my hope they all  looked at me strangely, laughed and said “Are you nuts. He isn’t going to write back.” 

I was beginning to get discouraged and I started to let go of my dream of getting a nice letter from the White House. 

After all, the President does have world peace and the global economy to worry about. 

But then a flash of insight came to me. Maybe I was barking up the wrong tree. Maybe I set my sights too high after all. 

I thought to myself maybe we had a better chance if I wrote a note to the First Lady Michelle Obama instead. 

So I gathered my ever growing series of articles about all this and sent them to the First Lady with a note requesting some sign of acknowledgement concerning the people of Williston Park.  That was about a month ago.

Last weekend I walked to my mailbox and as I gathered up my mail I noticed a large manila envelope on the bottom underneath all the junk mail and the bills. 

I looked at the top left corner of the envelope and it read From The White House. 

I hurried back to my office trying  not to fantasize about the contents.  I opened up the envelope and  there were two large signed photos, one of the First Lady and one of herself with her husband and kids smiling out at me. Her letter read as follows:

“Dear Dr. Ferraro,

Thank you for your kind note. It has meant so much to receive warm wishes like yours, and I hope you know how much we appreciate your support. I have enclosed my official portrait, and I hope you enjoy it.

The President and I share your hopes and optimism for what lies ahead for our country at this important moment in our history. And so, in the spirit of the many generations of Americans whose labor and service made our Nation great, I encourage you to find a way to strengthen our country by serving your community. Your continued engagement is vital as we move forward together.

Thank you again for writing. I wish you all the best.


Michelle Obama”

Such a happy surprise. 

And this story is like all stories. It has a moral. The moral is that it is okay to dream that impossible dream.  

Even if people laugh at you.  Who would think that the First Lady would write this town of ours a nice letter.  

But she did. 

All it took was some hope and some patience and some perseverance.   

So let us say thanks to First Lady  Obama for acknowledging Anthony Mucci and Larry Kane and Dr. Paltzik and Suhwa Kim and Allan Walsh and John Reilly and all the rest of you who let me write about you every week. 

These little surprises are in fact what make life worth living don’t you think?

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