By Rosalie Tirella
Crompton Park Skatepark is gonna be built. Watch the video, below. Wowza. Big plans augmenting what’s already there: the park’s new basketball courts look great. The new playground looks wonderful. The swimming pool, relatively new, built on former City Manager Mike O’Brien’s watch, is still fantastic. All these amenities for the families of Green Island! Impressive!
I grew up in the neighborhood decades ago and remember swimming in the humble “mud hole” at Crompton and sledding down the nondescript little hill by the Harding Street side of the park with our English setter Belle. Both features gone to make way for better and more better. Still, I had a ton of fun and have wonderful memories of my neighborhood park. Those many afternoons spent at Crompton added sparkle to my impoverished childhood. And by impoverished I mean financially – never spiritually. I had my mom Cecelia and my Polish Bapy waiting for me on Lafayette Street!
Sadly, there were lots more people at Crompton Park when I was a kid and it was just another ol’ city park. Rough around the edges. No bells and whistles. Yeah, we were the Baby Boom generation – Green Island kids and their dogs traveled in packs back then, the old three deckers bursting at the seams with us all … but it seems to me people just got out more and really enjoyed sharing public spaces. There was no razzle or dazzle or state of the art anything. You made your own razzle. Endeavored to dazzle the cute boy in your 6th grade class – Mr. Chickarian’s class – at Lamartine Street School by your wit and charm …and for some girls and boys …fisticuffs.
Today … Despite the City’s efforts to uplift and beautify, two teens were shot recently at Crompton Park. About 10 years ago, our city’s senseless youth killings began at Crompton: A teen was shot dead in the middle of the park in the middle of the afternoon. Yellow tape was stretched out over the murder scene by the police. I remember driving by my old park, staring at that yellow crime tape, horrified. Now it all feels routine.
Will a brandy new skate-park save us?
I certainly hope so!