November 19, 2014

Those who think that working in an archive is not very eventful, are sorely mistaken. Yesterday there was more action here than we could have ever imagined. A gruesome scene awaited me at work Monday morning.

Our next door neighbor, the study window of pastor Thomas Vaga of the Estonian Evangelical Lutheran Church in Lakewood, was shattered, part of the window frame ripped apart and the curtain splattered in blood. The study itself looked like a murder scene from CSI – broken glass everywhere, blood stains on the floor and furniture, drawers half open, books scattered to the floor from the shelves and area rugs bunched up. All that was missing, was a dead body. The broken window pane displayed tufts of fur. A deer!

Poor thing had left the scene already, so he could not be questioned what drove him to this desperate act. It is hunting season in New Jersey right now, so perhaps he had been frightened out of the woods. Viewing the footage from the security camera later, we could see that the deer acted confused already when entering the church courtyard. Perhaps he was rabid. It is sad, that no-body was there to out the injured animal out of his misery swiftly, now he might be laying somewhere in slow agony.

Hearing the police report of the incident, a local crew of NBC News channel 10 arrived promptly, interviewing pastor Vaga, the curator of the EAUS Eda Treumuth and me, the undersigned.

Today, Tuesday, the hullabaloo continues. Now Channel 7 ABC News is here. The treasurer of EAUS Maie Currie and I walk the reporter and the cameraman thru the same crime scene and explain what had happened. They were very interested in the history of Lakewood Estonians and appreciated our lengthy overview about the church and the archives. They took extensive footage of the exhibit commemorating the 50th anniversary of EAUS. I hope they can find a tie-in with the deer incident. All publicity is good publicity.

One of our projects right now is designing this year’s Christmas cards. Perhaps a reindeer crashing through a church window?

Ave Maria Blithe, the archivist