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Author Topic: The Old Park and Stuff  (Read 1025 times)

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Offline bulbasaur

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The Old Park and Stuff
« on: August 05, 2015, 01:18:07 AM »
Remembering the Park

I was at my parents' home recently, and I found some of my old basketball shoes and an old basketball.  I am always surprised to find my old stuff around the house, but I guess my Mom keeps the stuff around just in case us kids want to use them again. 

Usually when I am at home, there are things to do.  People seem to be coming and going.  However, for a short moment in the evening, I had time all to myself.  I decide to grab my old shoes and ball and drive to the local park.  The local park holds fond memories for me... 




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Offline bulbasaur

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Re: The Old Park and Stuff
« Reply #1 on: August 05, 2015, 01:20:13 AM »
Summers at the Park

During the summer, the park would be filled with people from the afternoon until the Sun was gone.  The town has actually gotten bigger, so I figured there would be more people there.  Even though I brought my ball, I didn't expect to play.  The Hmong and Whites had the volleyball courts, but the Blacks had the basketball courts.  So when I was driving to the park, I was expecting the park to be full, especially on such a nice day.  However, it was near empty.  The sand court looked like a kitty litter.  The blacktop had cracks instead of lines.  There weren't even any kids on the playground.  It was sad. 

I should look on the bright side.  At least the park was still there. 




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Offline bulbasaur

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Re: The Old Park and Stuff
« Reply #2 on: August 05, 2015, 01:30:03 AM »
Volleyball at the Park

When I was about 12 years old, my family moved to a new city, and we were a volleyball family.  We started the whole volleyball trend with the community, Hmong and Whites.  The Hmong people eventually brought their own net because they preferred to play on grass.  The white guys preferred sand, but we both mixed and mingled.   

When we first arrived in the neighborhood, the white guys were awful at volleyball.  I wasn't even a teenager yet, but I already had years of volleyball because my family played it.  One of the guys asked me to teach him how to pass because he saw how well I was passing.  The Whites eventually stopped playing 6v6 and 4v4 in favor of 2v2.  They actually got pretty good.  Some of them eventually joined the AVP Tour.  I don't think they made any money from it, but they at least tried.   

The Hmong played everything from 6s, 5s, 4s, and 3s.  However, we didn't play 2s.  Volleyball eventually got big enough where people started making teams and entering Hmong tournaments.  By the time I was old enough to play in tournaments, I had already moved out of town to attend a different school. 

When I was back home, I saw that my oldest niece, 12 years old, has picked up volleyball.  Unlike me, she didn't play at the park. She played at school.  She really likes volleyball, and she raves about how awesome her coach is.  My sister and brother in-law start laughing and ask me to ask her who her coach is.  I would have never guessed it, but her coach is that white guy that I taught how to pass the ball when I was 12 years old.  Go figure.  Life can be funny like that. 


« Last Edit: August 05, 2015, 01:51:47 AM by bulbasaur »

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Offline bulbasaur

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Re: The Old Park and Stuff
« Reply #3 on: August 05, 2015, 01:49:33 AM »
Ballin' at the Abandoned Park

Even though no one was the park, I still got out to shoot some hoops.  I wasn't going to let an opportunity go by. 

The rims were really thick, and there weren't any nets.  The blacktop had holes and all the lines were replaced by cracks.  One goal had "Chinks" written on it, and the other side had "Niggaz."  The graffiti had been scrubbed, but you can still see it.  Apparently there has been a problem with vandalism and race relations.  I shot on the Niggaz goal. 

I remember a time when all races went to the park, and we all got along.  We probably weren't all friends, but we were able to share.  I didn't shoot long because the old ball I brought was falling apart.  The leather was literally peeling off with each dribble and shot.  Like the old park, the ball has probably already seen its best days.  It's time to retire the old family basketball. 
 



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Offline bulbasaur

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Re: The Old Park and Stuff
« Reply #4 on: August 06, 2015, 09:25:49 PM »
Swinging at the Park

After shooting around a bit, I went to check out the old swings. 

As  kid, we would swing as high as we could. The most daring of us would jump  into the air and fly when the swing reached the apex.  And of course, whoever jumped the furthest had bragging rights. 

Now, the swings have been replaced since I was a kid, but they looked like they haven't been used.  I wiped off a seat and swung for a few minutes...but I didn't try jumping. 

There were actually two types of swings when I was a kid.  There were the traditional ones with just the seats, and there were these funky ones with arm pumps.  Anyone else remember these?



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Offline bulbasaur

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Re: The Old Park and Stuff
« Reply #5 on: August 17, 2015, 06:33:56 AM »
Tennis at the Park

When we moved to the new town, some random guy gave us some brand new tennis balls while we were at McDonald's.  They were the rainbow colored ones.  He said he preferred the normal ones, so we could have it if we wanted.  Of course, we took them.  A bunch of us went to Walmart that afternoon and bought some cheap $10 rackets.  Then, we went straight to the park to play.  The tennis courts were really nice, but we were really awful. 

Some of the high school guys and girls said they were going to try out for the tennis team now (They didn't).  We were all trying to learn how to hold the racket and learn how to swing.  People were getting blisters on their hands.  Balls were flying over the fence.  It was terrible, so it was a good thing no one else was there that afternoon. 

The tennis trend only lasted for about a week in the summer, but I eventually inherited the old rackets and balls from the people who originally bought them.  When I started driving in high school, I would go by the tennis courts once a week to serve and hit tennis balls.  I never got good at tennis, but I knew how to hit it hard. 

During my recent trip back to the park, I also checked out the tennis courts.  There were six courts in all.  The courts I remember were smooth and green.  The nets were stretched tight.  The paint was fresh.  The courts I recently saw were nothing like I remembered.  All six courts were paved over with asphalt.  They were still "tennis courts."  There were lines.  There were tattered nets.  But, it was just one big blacktop now.  On some of the edges of the courts, I could still see a little bit of green peeping out; a sad reminder of what once had been. 



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