22 May

Smile Stations. Zinnia And Socks

by Jon Katz

I wish the Public Health people would move beyond masks and think more about the mental health of people whose lives have been upended by the shutting down of normal life.

I am surprised – honestly – to learn that I possess two things that make lots of people smile. One is Zinnia, who has this special gift. People smile when they see her.

The other is my socks, which make people smile, especially my “smile” sock. It is revealing in this surreal time that I get as much or more mail about my socks than I do about almost anything else.

It’s not really my socks, of course, it’s about color and light. People need color and light in their lives. And they need to smile, every day and more than once.

I’m thinking we should have “smile stations” set up in towns and cities, where people can go to look at things that make them smile. It does help a lot to start the day that way.

Zinnia and my socks are proud to contribute to this effort in our very small way.


  1. Check out the Covid 19 NYC Flower Flash. A flash mob of extraordinary flower arrangements in NYC — some in phone booths (remember those?). Color color color. And human ingenuity and empathy.

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