Allow me to touch upon the subject of the renovation of Douglas Park and the need to take it off life support and put life back into such a vital landmark in the City of Rock Island.|
I have spent most of my life at Douglas Park, watching the legends of the game to clap, yell and enjoy their play.
Many have moved on in life and joined the heavens of their God only with only their ghostly presence to remain.
I've been told many ghosts loom over Douglas Park, where the great Jim Thorpe played professional football, where the Chicago Bears planted roots, where softball championships were renowned, where little and pony leagues were formed, where I played my first little league football game and home field to me when I played at Franklin Jr. High School.
The ghosts of Douglas Park speak of the folks who brought their families to the park to enjoy the competition between children, cousins, uncles, daughters, sons, fathers, and mothers.
As a child, I recall my father calling me mannish as I met my first girlfriend here.
Many of us know Douglas Park to be a place of freedom and enjoyment and the ghosts there are wishing, hoping, looking, and expressing the wishes of saving this park.
They yearn for the return of enjoyment to give back to their living legacy. I think ... I know the ghosts think this park has earned the right to be saved for the past and living history and it's for this reason I believe the park deserves to live.
That said, the city has to make the first step in leading the team in this renovation project. Please, hear this call: foundations, private sector, preservation experts, politicians, historians, clergymen and women, and, most important, the community.
We must follow our ghosts and take part in bringing this back to life. Douglas Park must remain and from it, newness must emerge.
So I set forth this challenge in speaking on behalf of the parks past and present.
For more information or to assist by joining a committee in the project to renovate Douglas Park please contact me at 309-230-5338.
Terry M.A. Brooks is 1st Ward Rock Island alderman.
Atkinson, IL Details
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