Perched atop a tiny pedestal near the park entrance on west 90th street is the marvelous statue of one of Central Park’s most beloved characters, Flynn Lanny, also known as the impatient grandfather.
A train dispatcher in his native Ireland, Lanny was a stickler for punctuality, and expected no less from the world around him.
Every Saturday at 11AM rain or shine, Flynn Lanny could be found waiting at Engineer’s Gate for his Grandchildren to arrive for an afternoon of precisely scheduled fun and activities. Unfortunately, Flynn’s daughter-in-law rarley brought the children on time, so Lanny was often seen pacing about checking his watch, joking with his friends about the unreliability of his son’s wife, or as he called her, “the Italian whore.”
By the mid 1980s the elderly Lanny’s obsession with promptness had reached a fever pitch when in the spring of 1985 he was arrested for disturbing the peace when he loudly chastised a row of azaleas in Wagner Cove for flowering three days later than the surrounding plants.
Flynn Lanny died in 1987. In a salute to his father, his son Sean Lanny commissioned a statue of his Dad to be placed near Engineer’s Gate. In a salute to her father-in-law, Carmella Lanny made sure the dedication ceremony for the statue began 46 minutes behind schedule.