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Elephant Creek Park

After moving us here from Southern Illinois, daddy was eager to show us the sites. Niagara Falls, of course, was the prime draw, then came the local places like Ellicott Creek Park where we were to see what, up to then, we'd only just been hearing about. It was a sliding board shaped like an elephant where you actually got a ride down a long, bumpy trunk. We cruised about in the car, wax paper roll in hand, excitement building and around a turn, there it was! It was a sight in all its brightly painted glory---with a wailing girl wedged up high, in middle of the elephant's forehead. Dad to the rescue! He dashed up the stairs and in moments, dignity and order were restored all around. That day the park got a new name, at least to us, in honor dad's heroism.

The park was favored by churches for annual picnics, On those days, the wooden tables became puzzles of lovingly-prepared, delectable foods you could eat until you burst. Adults organized the games and teams ran relay races with two and sometimes, three legs. With Christian consideration for enemies, we played tug-of-war and using whole flats of raw eggs as ammunition we fought battles with a thrilling, if messy edginess. Later, I attended a class reunion where people who hadn't partied to oblivion the night before visited with classmates' families on pallets under the trees. One time, I went there to burn a letter in one of the massive stone fireplaces stopping short of throwing myself into the creek and had a loud, satisfying cry over a boy. This park is as well frequented today as over the years and the trees are still keeping all manner of secrets. In this morning's light, attracted by the cast shadows from the ancient trees, I painted the view. A parade of at least three regiments of at least thirty ducks floated by in perfect formation, a study in peaceful agreement and cooperation. Not even one duck thought about getting out of line and ruining the show.

Journals are intended for hand-written, well-chosen memories and become more valuable as the years pass and new stories are entered. Start today because only you can tell your stories perfectly.

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