I grew up in Monroe, NY, a town about 50 miles north of NYC. When someone asks me where I’m from, I say “Monroe” and then quickly follow it up with “Woodbury Commons” because everyone seems to know the huge shopping center nearby. One of the pieces of my childhood that I remember fondly is Airplane Park. It was a basic playground with swings and those weird metal animals you’d sit on and rock back and forth. The big attraction though was the F-86L Sabre plane that sat in the middle of the park and had a slide built onto it. This made the playground a landmark and everyone in the area knew it.

Now, after 50 years of sitting there, the mayor of Monroe has decided to get rid of the plane. It’s not because he has a fear of flying or anything. The plane has actually been sitting towards the back of the park for the past 8 years behind a shaky fence. It is falling apart. It has been vandalized. It’s a safety hazard. All of these things and more make it not at all surprising that the mayor is having it removed. According to the article linked above, it would cost between $36,000 and $46,000 to restore the plane and that’s money that Monroe doesn’t have. All of this makes sense, right?

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Wrong. People are freaking the fuck out. I’ve seen at least three people share this link on Facebook talking about how sad it is that this is happening. I highly doubt that any of them have been in or near the park in ages. Yes, it’s a part of our childhoods, but so were wearing diapers and thinking girls were icky, but I’m ok without those things. Additionally, check out the comments on that article. It’s like the mayor of Monroe admitted to being a member of Al Qaeda. It’s being seen as a personal attack on America, veterans, the town, and more. They all seem to be up in arms about this despite not caring that the plane has been a decrepit piece of garbage for the past 8 years.

What makes this even more crazy to me are the thinly veiled anti-semitic comments that people are making in response to this. There’s a town nearby that has a large Hasidic Jewish community. I have never been clear as to the connection between it and Monroe, but anyone from the area is very familiar with their presence. They’re also very opinionated about them. They’ve honestly never really bothered me. Anyway, I’ve seen a bunch of comments talking about how the Hasidic Jews should pony up the cash to fix up the plane. Why should they do it and not everyone else? What makes them more responsible?

If this was really important to people, they’d put together some fundraisers or at least a Kickstarter campaign to save the plane. That’s not going to happen though. Everyone is going to go back to not thinking about Airplane Park tomorrow, myself included. Let that piece of your childhood go. Hold on to your memories and be glad that you or your kids aren’t going to need a tetanus shot after cutting your leg open on a piece of rusty metal sticking out of an old, beat up airplane.

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