After all these years of writing this column it is easy to get repetitive, but sometimes it also is a way of updating subjects and this is one of those times.
There is a small triangular park where Selborne and Uvedale roads intersect – officially known as the Selborne/Southcote/Uveldale Triangle. It’s the area where I was born and still live, so I have seen changes in the park. What brought it to mind was when I noticed there were some new plantings. Exactly what they are I don’t know, but thank you Riverside Forester Mike Collins.
Growing up, there were lilac bushes on all three points of the park. They were eventually removed, much to my disappointment, as they made good hiding places when we were kids playing hide-and-seek and they were handy for taking some of the fragrant stems to our teachers.
In the center of the park was a tree that was shaped to make it easy to climb, which we all did, yes, even me. When that tree met its demise, it became the pitching mound for many baseball games in the park. Grassy areas of the park were worn down to the dirt with the running and sliding during games. It was that way for a few years — and then …
There was the day I saw Ed Straka walking around “my” park with that look on his face that something was going to happen. Ed was an architect and had contributed his talents to the village in many ways, including landscape architecture.
I went out to talk to him with all my positions on why the park should stay as it was. His first words to me were, “Don’t worry, JoAnne, I know this is where the kids play ball, and we won’t do any planting to prevent that.” What a guy!
Over the years, the park stayed the same with other generations of children playing there, and it was not unusual to see adults out there also. Neighbors will sometimes convene and catch up with each other there.
Recently, there have been new trees added while others have come down for a variety of reasons, some by acts of nature, some by pest like the emerald ash borer. However, no trees have been planted in the center of the park, just as Ed Straka told me years ago. I guess he must have left a note directing that no trees were to be planted in the middle of the park. It’s where the kids play ball.