There it was, a lovely fall day in Riverside. And after parking my car in front of the Riverside Public Library, my eyes were drawn across the street to Guthrie Park, where I spotted a lone goose.
He was just ambling along unaware of where he was. I had no time to concentrate on the goose as I proceeded to the library, but about an hour later after returning to the car I noticed the goose was still enjoying his Sunday walk in the park. Not unusual, I guess, but it made me think of all that has happened in the park.
The park was named after one of Riverside’s prominent citizens Ashley Guthrie, a former longtime village attorney, World War I veteran, member of the American Legion and early proponent of building a public library in Riverside.
Guthrie Park has become home to many activities in the last few years, a big change from its early years. Riverside’s parks, unless designated as recreational, were seldom used.
Because of its central location, Guthrie Park has become an area where people congregate not just to enjoy the view but for various public events. The addition of benches made it possible to go and sit a spell and enjoy the view, take a rest from a brisk walk or meet with friends. It still sports a horse trough, which reminds us of a time when horses were the mode of transportation; now flowers are planted in the trough.
The goose was walking where every year there is a memorial ceremony to honor those from the village who have served their country. Memorials bear the names of many who served and died, and the flag is proudly displayed.
It is the park where almost 50 years ago art fairs were held. Now it is home to Riverside Arts Weekend (RAW) and the July 3rd and 4th celebrations. This year the village added a special “Riv-inia” concert event as well.
Who would have thought more than 100 hundred years ago there would be music, food and alcoholic beverages in the park (legally that is). The trees in Guthrie Park get lights for the celebrations and the bigger trees sport banners announcing what events are happening in town.
The park also got into the act during the recent car show. Cars on the grass in Riverside, now there’s something no one ever would have imagined.
So the goose in Guthrie enjoyed his day in the park not unlike many of us do. For some of us, walking through the park is a nostalgia trip as we wonder what is yet to come.