I’ve been greatly saddened to hear of the plan to tear down the block of Forest Avenue that includes Palmer Spring, Munster’s TV Repair and my uncle’s bar, Forest Gardens, in favor of a superfluous CVS.

I could sit here and make well-thought-out logistical arguments as to why this is a bad idea, or why this shouldn’t be allowed, or how this would have a negative economic effect on the city of Portland. But frankly, this is all much simpler than that.

The impact that my uncle, Rick Piacentini, and his bar, Forest Gardens, have had on the lives of the literally tens of thousands of people who have entered that glass front door through the years doesn’t deserve to be wiped away by a bulldozer at the whim of a drugstore chain that already operates a store a quarter-mile down the street.

Because I have not made my year-round residence in Portland since before I left for college, my return visits home have been religiously and emphatically marked by a trip (or two, depending when Peter Litman hosts trivia) to “The Gardens” to see both my uncle and his many passionately loyal patrons, whom I’ve come to know over the years.

It tears my heart out to think that the place my mother (Rick’s sister) took me for lunch since before I can remember is on the chopping block.

There’s not a man from the Portland area who doesn’t have a Forest Gardens memory, and that’s a testament to how special this place and my uncle both are.

Hopefully, the foolish greed of whoever wants this CVS will be soon sent in another direction, when this block is designated a historic landmark. Once that happens, I can’t wait to hear the stories of the celebration at The Gardens.

Jim McKew

Lakeland, Fla.


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