Gas Blowers Are A Pain

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Some say a man named Dom Quinto is to blame for the cacophony our ears are exposed to on a daily basis from March, almost until December, caused by the gasoline powered leaf blowers that he supposedly invented in the ’50s.

Others attribute its invention even farther back to Satan himself.

It may surprise you to know that most of the villages in Great Neck have laws on the books prohibiting their use from June through Labor Day. Thomaston, for example, bans them from May through September.

So, what’s the problem? Is enforcement impractical?

We recognize that landscapers see these blowers as a great aid to their work, and assume that if they had to use manual tools, it would greatly slow them down and cause them to charge much more for their services.

Just the other day, we watched—and were unavoidably forced to listen to—landscapers down the block using three machines in unison to blow grass clippings, some leaves and dust (and who knows what else) off our neighbor’s lawn and into
the street.

We wondered what the point was in using three blowers at all, especially since the landscapers never bothered to pick up what they had blown into the street. We almost laughed when a gust of wind blew most of the debris back onto the sidewalk and the lawn.

While we’re critical of Quinto’s invention, we’d like to praise Chester Greenwood, the man who patented the steel garden rake in 1936.

But has the rake become obsolete, just like the dial telephone?

Greenwood is also credited with another invention that could come in handy in protecting yourself from the noise of those gas blowers.  Greenwood invented earmuffs in the 1870s, also handy in keeping your ears warm during the winter.

Still, we’d like to salute our other neighbor’s contribution to our street’s peace and quiet. Each week he works together with his son to mow their lawn with matching push mowers and they even use a rake and a broom for cleanup.

The low-level noise from the whirring of the blades on those mowers is almost soothing.

—Andy Newman

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