The Baystate Objectivist

The Baystate Objectivist

Friday, August 17, 2012

On the Way

I hate to admit it, but ever since a section of trails in Springfield's Forest Park was named after my mother in 2007 I have never actually returned to that area of the park since the dedication ceremony, which featured politicians, ecologists, educators and crazy Irish people of all types.

So yesterday I made a long overdue visit. Rather than pay the park entrance fee, we went around to a little known back entrance by Magnolia and Washington.

I've been outta Springfield for a long time now, but I still know that city's hidden byways.

Indeed deep in the backwoods paths of Forest Park you would never guess that you were in a city of over 150,000 people.

We headed over to where my mother used to work, at the ECOS Center which operates out of the old skatehouse by Porter Lake.

The part of the park dedicated to my mother is across from the skatehouse. I was surprised by how overgrown the pathway had become in the five years since the dedication.

Here is a video of that 2007 dedication.

Despite the overgrowth, the dedication sign is still standing.

When my mother was dying, she was aware that an attempt would be made to honor her in some way at Forest Park, where she was one of the early pioneers of the ecology movement in the Pioneer Valley. She never would have imagined that a whole section of the park would be named after her, and would have been embarrassed by it. What was mentioned to her however was the prospect that the city might erect a bench honoring her by the duck pond, a spot in the park that she loved. But she scoffed at that idea, saying of her bench that "probably the bums would use it to sleep on."

About a year before The Devine Way was dedicated a bench was indeed put up in the spot she liked. We went there too yesterday, and sure enough there was a bum sleeping on the bench.

A band at the Amherst Farmer's Market Wednesday.


Tim said...

Tom, we go in the same way! LOL! Anyway, I can't believe you didn't film the impressive aquatic gardens. They did a spectacular job down there, and it rivals parts of Stanley Park. If you didn't get over there, there's a couple of beautiful little Japanese style bridges and a nice covered bridge. There's hardly ever anyone over there and its really serene. Looks like you were on the woods trails and its really nice in there too. That park is a heck of a lot nicer than in the 1970's when I practically lived in there.

Larry In FL said...

Tom, that photo of you, on your mom's bench, really got to me. The humor, yes; but, the love, even more. Such a simple thought but a beautiful sentiment. Didn't mean to get all fuzzy on ya.

Tony said...

That bench picture is really good.