To her surprise, dozens of Linda Jo Platt’s neighbors gathered outside her home in Dobbs Ferry on the evening of Sunday, May 3 — almost three weeks after her 73-year-old husband, Bruce Platt, passed away at the Westchester Medical Center in Valhalla as a result of Covid-19.
Bruce and Linda Jo moved to Dobbs Ferry in 1973. Bruce was a deacon at South Presbyterian Church and treasurer of the Dobbs Ferry Historical Society. Linda Jo remains the longtime director of the Community Nursery School, located at the church.
Ellen Crane, who lives behind the Platts with her husband, Ron Fried, and son, Ben, started an email group for the neighborhood as the pandemic unfolded. Following Bruce’s death, the neighbors brainstormed ideas for remembering him and supporting Linda Jo.
Last Sunday, the tributes began with a performance of the Leon Bridge’s song “River” by Dobbs Ferry High School sophomores Adam Galland and Felix Danishmend, who both attended Community Nursery School. Bruce had appreciated their rendition of that song at the church’s annual gala.
Justin Kamke and Zara Young, who also live behind the Platts, then played a recording of “Monday Monday” by the Mamas & the Papas — a favorite song of Bruce and Linda Jo. Linda Jo’s masked neighbors sang along at safe distances from her and from each other.
The gathering then turned into a tour of the streets. At the first stop, Jonathan Gordon and Margot Serwer performed the song “Wild Mountain Thyme” on their front porch.
The next stop was the home of Isabelle and Ken Keeler, who sang “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” with their daughters Alexia, 6, and Charlotte, 3.
Outside their home, the Duver family of Amy, Ted, Aidan, and Sophia greeted Linda Jo with a poster decorated with hearts.
Down the street, Gabrielle Mason and her son, Zach Cohen, showed their love with a performance of “Goodnight, My Someone” from “The Music Man.”
The tour culminated at the home of Vikki Jones, where her son’s girlfriend, Cassandra Lambros, delivered a stirring rendition of “O for the Wings of a Dove” by Felix Mendelssohn. Lambros stood alongside Jones’ dog, Ralphie.
To express her gratitude, Linda Jo submitted the letter to the editor published this week on page 13.
The support she received reflects the X factor that sets the Rivertowns apart from other areas. Yes, residents move here for the schools and the views and the closeness of the city to the south.
The closeness of neighbors, however, reflects the character of these communities more so than those other reasons.
Thanks to the Platts’ neighbors for such a memorable reminder of that fact.