25 years ago this was a muddy hole. The BY Park is over 90 years old. It had been used for years as turn around for the trains that were picking up and making deliveries to the Westinghouse Plant, back in the day, my tiny home town was flourishing. Over the years, Westinghouse closed and MANY locals lost their jobs. It was a tough time for my community. Some moved, some stayed. The BY became the local hangout for us kids. Not really much to do in a tiny rural town. In 1994, Trafford had a group of VERY motivated, Determined folks who wanted to turn the BY into a park that the community could use. We enlisted the help of 100s of volunteers and the Marine Corp. Total construction time took us a little over 3 years to complete. The photos you see today is how the park currently looks. It used by many for fishing, walking, parties, and even ice skating in the winter time.
When I have the very rare opportunity to travel home, this is the one place that is ALWAYS a must stop. Turners tea in hand, red fish to eat, and memories flood my inner soul. It is here that I have a sculpture. Deep under that water that serves as a fish and turtle habitat now. I hand made over 200 titles, labeled them one by one with the names of ALL who volunteered their services, from the “Mud Puppies” (there wasn’t a day that the crew of us weren’t covered in mud!), Marine Corp, and locals who generously opened their hearts, homes and pantries to take care of us. Then cemented the tiles onto a 500 pound shale rock. I then used the front end loader to carefully place the rocks into the pond. If you stand on the dock, on a clear sunny day, you can see it in the water.
The photo with grandma. This was her FAVORITE place to come, walk and feed the ducks before she passed away. She always insisted my Aunt bring her here. In her honor we had a pine tree planted. Each visit, I stop to have quiet time with her.
Before this turns into the novel that I did not want it to be…I will end here for now…I will add more later in future blogs.
Reflecting, Missing family, and home during this holiday of Thanksgiving.
May your day be FULL of Blessings,