This afternoon, after a year-long labor of love to restore the iconic Welcome to Greenport sign on Route 48 in Greenport, a brand new replica of the original was unveiled. See previous story.
As about two dozen people cheered, Maria Heaney, sister of the late Tim Heaney, one of the students who created the original sign, gave the signal and the tarp was pulled back to reveal the brightly colored sign.
“The sign is completely recreated,” said Heaney. “It was in such bad shape we had to redo it from scratch. When they took down the old sign we took photos so we could remember the design. My mother and I went to the library to find old photos of the original sign.”
Although Heaney and her husband Bernie did the work on the sign, she said that she couldn’t have done it without the help of the many people who shared photos and memories of the original sign.
Retired Greenport art teacher Bruce Meirowitz and shop teacher Dorville Finkle, who worked on the original sign and attended the installation in 1977, were both on hand for the ceremony.
Meirowitz remembered back forty years to when he got the idea for the sign.
“I was the art teacher and I initiated the project as a means of celebrating the community and getting the kids involved in something that would be long-lasting,” he said. “I reached out to Mr. Finkle and he got me into his shop, taught me how to use the machines. I remember the kids cutting the plywood and I remember coming out with them and digging the sign in. It was a lot of fun.”
The sign was installed last night by village workers with help from Tim Heaney’s nephews Shawn and Tim Heaney.
SoutholdLOCAL photos by Katharine Schroeder