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Bus stop bench finally in place for 93-year-old Amherst woman

  • A new bench was installed at the bus stop on East Pleasant Street on January 30, 2013.<br/><br/>SARAH CROSBY

    A new bench was installed at the bus stop on East Pleasant Street on January 30, 2013.

    SARAH CROSBY Purchase photo reprints »

  • After repeated requests by bus patron Eleanor Hassell, a bench was finally installed at her bus stop at the corner of East Pleasant and Chestnut streets.<br/>SARAH CROSBY

    After repeated requests by bus patron Eleanor Hassell, a bench was finally installed at her bus stop at the corner of East Pleasant and Chestnut streets.
    SARAH CROSBY Purchase photo reprints »

  • A new bench was installed at the bus stop on East Pleasant Street on January 30, 2013.<br/><br/>SARAH CROSBY
  • After repeated requests by bus patron Eleanor Hassell, a bench was finally installed at her bus stop at the corner of East Pleasant and Chestnut streets.<br/>SARAH CROSBY

To most observers, the brown metal bench at a bus stop just north of downtown probably doesn’t seem out of the ordinary.

For 93-year-old Eleanor “Elli” Hassell, though, the installation of the bench, which took place last week, is a godsend.

“It’s the most beautiful bench in the world,” Hassell said.

For months — stretching back to last summer — Hassell has pleaded with officials to put in a bench at the PVTA bus stop at the corner of East Pleasant and Chestnut streets, closest to her Chestnut Court home. While she can walk, she can’t stand for long due to soreness in her knees. She said the lack of a place to sit has stymied her use of the bus, her main mode of transportation.

Earlier in January, the town’s Department of Public Works poured a concrete pad to support the bench and a shelter, which has not yet been constructed.

Hassell admitted that she feared she’d never see the bench and that her appeals for it have taken a toll.

“It think it’s half killed me,” she said.

But now she will be able to go places, like the Senior Center, bank and pharmacy without depending on others to drive her.

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