In a couple of weeks, I will have lived here for 44 years. So, I was here when we had a park, “Eleanor Park.” in the center of our small town. And I was here when Jimmy Johnson opened what he dubbed The Tax Shelter, a hot dog stand, something that could be used to help pay the property taxes on what was obviously a prime piece of real estate.
As the park was named for Johnson’s mother, he, along with most of us, preferred to see the parcel remain a park. So, as I recall it, an offer was made: For a $50 one-time property owner assessment, “we” could own the parcel and preserve it as a park.
We voted on the measure. I pressed everyone I knew to vote for this. But I was shocked at how many people said they weren’t going to, reassuring me with, “Don’t worry, Dennis, it will always be a park.”
They were wrong. But now, the Butterfields, in an act of astonishing civic generosity, are giving us back “our” park.
The article in your paper about this shouldn’t have been in a small box on page three. It shouldn’t even have been the center piece of your front page. It should have been the front page. You buried the lede, the most impressive lede you’ve had all year.
But enough of complaining. I appreciate the Town Crier for letting us know. I appreciate Dave and Loie Butterfield for their generosity, and to Shane Stewart and Bob Hughes for their efforts. I, for one, am smiling a grateful smile.