The park plays such an important part in my childhood memories! There aren't many that don't involve the park. The house that I grew up in is right across the street from the park, and my present house is right next to it.
In the summer, I remember telling mama "I'm going to the park". It was a place where you could go as a child without supervision. When mama wanted us home, we were within yelling distance. The park is divided by a road, and both sections offer different activities. The "upper" park consists of a walking trail. (To get a better view of the park, click on the pictures to enlarge.)
The "lower" park is more recreational: a couple of playgrounds, a pavilion that was once a school, a gymnasium, tennis courts, baseball field, and more walking trails.
There is a spring, or a brook, running through both sides. We would cut through the park while walking on the way home from school. There were a few times when we would see daddy driving. He would yell & wave...and keep going. I walked or road my bike through the park to get to the pool. There used to be a "brownie house" that the girl scouts used next to this little bridge.
We would cut through the park while walking on the way home from school.
We would look under this bridge for water spiders, salamanders, and other wildlife. It's also the place that I remember "falling in" once or twice! That was followed by a walk home, dripping wet, acting scared and insisting that it was an accident so mama wouldn't be mad that I was wet.
The hill across the street from our house was our "sledding hill". Kids don't sled down that hill anymore, but it was perfect when we were young. And, again, within yelling distance.
(One of my brothers sledding down the hill)
Once, a friend & I were riding bikes, and had the
One time, I was in the park with one of my little brothers. There was some kid harassing, and I asked him his name. When he said it, I repeated it and told him it was a sissy name. Apparently he kept on bothering us, and I ended up throwing dirt in his face and telling my brother to run.
As I got older, the tennis courts were where I spent most of my "park time". That was where the Small Town Tennis Team held our practices and matches. I could cut through a neighbor's yard and be home in 2 minutes. Literally.
The park is still a very busy place. When I moved back to the area, CH mentioned that he loved seeing the kids riding their bikes or walking through the park to school. When I was growing up, the walking trails in the upper section weren't there. People will sit in the field on the hill to watch the 4th of July Fireworks (this hasn't happened in the past few years due to budget cuts). People still have picnics in the lower section. I think the park is actually used more today than it was when I was growing up. One of the nice things about the Small Town is that the park is a priority so that the next generation can say that the park has a special place in their hearts, too.