Interview with Ace

IMG_3475

Ace is one of the first hydrants discovered by the “Go Home Hydrant” team.  Situated some few dozen feet to the West of Bolton Road with views of the setting sun and the George Washington Bridge, Ace is in an idea location to have witnessed the hapistance of Innwood Hill Park.  With help from our intrepid translator Dodger we set out to shed some light on the history of Inwood Hill Park and the mystery of the Drunken Hydrants.

Interviewer: “This is a great location, but hardly in need of fire protection.  So why here?”

Ace: “Heh, thanks, well sometimes success is about being in the right place at the right time.   The Straus and Lord’s places had just burned down, and I was given a choice – I could be installed next to the old Speakeasy on Dykman street or up here.   It’s given me an interesting career, but that’s okay – I get peed on less.”

Interviewer: “So, tell me about fire, the Straus and Lord’s place, what is … ?”

Ace: “… yeah, some years before I came along, was there was a fire.   Isidor Straus owned Macyes and the Lord family of Lord and Taylors had mansions up here.  It really created some nice rural openings for hydrants – rural work, clean city water … its good work if you can find it.  Anyhow, some say an accelerant was used, gasoline, insurance related, but it smelled more line linseed oil and they liked that place.  Well, good think it happened or I’d be a rusty urine covered hydrant on Dykman street”

Interviewer: “Yeah, good thing I guess.  So tell me ”

Ace: “Hey, I didn’t do it, it predated me, stop looking at me that way.”

Interviewer: “Oh, no, I didn’t think”

Ace: “Yes you did.  Look, the forest, it talks, okay, it wasn’t me, its not like I’d have anything to gain my arranging for those places to be burned down.  They were going to install hydrants anyway, maybe a few decade later, but … ”

Interviewer: “Okay, I’d love to hear a bit about

Ace: “Damn it your translator is pissing on me!”

Interviewer: “I’m sorry, hey dodger, knock that off.”

Ace: “Damn, all of that effort and kerosene to give folks a reason to move me up here and I still can’t avoid piss.

Interviewer: “I’m sorry, I don’t follow”

Ace: “I did it.  I burned down  Isidor Straus’s place.   I didn’t mean to, I was a wee lad, out having a drive, working so hard, thought I could play hero. ”

Interviewer: “But you were not forged when that happened … ”

Ace: “Hello, ever hear of recycling?  Us hydrants don’t stay this way forever.  Before my last forging I was the engine block that powered the car that drove the folks that poured kerosene into the Isidor’ Straus’s place.  And before that I was … ”

Interviewer: “You were?”

Ace: “Oh god, I’m not sure I can talk about it here … ”

Interviewer: “Its okay, you don’t have to, listen thanks so much for your time.  I really appreciated you taking the time .”

Ace: (sobbing hysterically) “My name is Ace because two forgings ago I was also an engine block.  I killed Henry Bliss.  Good aim.  I’m an ace.   And before that I was a hydrant on wall street.   (sniffling)   Look, I didn’t expect the Great Fire, I was drinking, I have this problem, okay damn … ”

Interviewer: “I’m sorry, again, I think you are doing an awesome job here … ”

Ace: “… so I got a little frozen, only everybody else did.  We were just trying to stay warm.   And that caused the Great Fire.  Everything I touch, I ruin.  This is exile.  I’m lonely.   Nobody plays in my water stream in the summer, maintains me or even pisses on me.  Please, god, please, take me away and cast me into a pipe for the sanitation department.  (sobbing)”