Green Trails Park by Andrew Tran

Corner of Crescent Green and South Greenhouse
Katy, Texas 77094

November 2010–As I park my car along curbside with the entire view of the vivacious green park, a chills runs throughout my body.  Recalling that it was almost a decade ago when I last set foot in the old park.  As I approached the area, I take a drink from the old water fountain.  I bent over to take a sip due to the fact that I have outgrown my childhood water fountain.  The water, warm as always, but cold enough for a ten year old who had just gotten done playing a long game of football with about twenty of his friends.  Being absent for so long, I became aware of how much different the park looks with its new additions.

When I take a seat, I notice the new gazebo  that was built about a year ago, I sit down under the large cover on some black benches, the ground was cemented and the whole gazebo was made of six columns of a combination of red and black bricks.  To the right of me was the field, enriched with green grass on sunny days and the muddiest of mud on rainy days was where we enjoyed playing sports such as football, baseball, and soccer over the years.  Just about sixty yards long and thirty yards wide, this field was perfect for football during the summer.  It was also great for soccer and baseball for the most part.  The grass, still uncut, looks like a goat’s last supper.  As amazing as the color was, it was even more comfortable to lie down in it again.  I lay on the grass, staring into the endless sky as if time never existed.  Recalling the countless fun I had with my friends at this “coliseum.”   The diving catches I made, the homeruns I smashed out of the place, the look upon a defenders face as I would run past him for the score, and so on.  I got up off the bed of grass and continued along my walk through my past.  Ahead of me is the park playground, where kids would play “tag” and other games.  It was constructed so well that kids could be occupied for hours using such stations as the yellow corkscrew slide, the glide slide, and the bright blue monkey bars to hang down from, all encompassed within a giant sand pit.  I remember playing with all of them in my pastime so I decided to give them one last “play” from this nineteen year old.  As hard as it was to go down the bright yellow slide due to my height, I still felt the rush of cool air brush through my hair.  After I reached the end of the slide, to my left was the tire swing, a toy that quickly accumulated for lots of fun.  The tire spinner, quite possibly the most nauseating ride I have ever been on, was popular amongst the kids. Although it usually led to them feeling sick to their stomachs due to the dizziness, but people like me would never get tired of it. 

After that, I made my way to what I used to call the “glider.” The “glider” was a 12 foot long zip line in which you would grab the small black handle and zip yourself back and forth while hanging on for dear life.  I recall riding the “glider” about a million times when I was a kid. Who would think that something so simple could occupy for hours of fun.  Before I rode the “glider,” I noticed the blue hangman handles, there were 7 handles each hanging from a chain all along on a bright blue bar.  Those were great, I loved the hangman, it would give me the feeling as if I was on “American Gladiators” for the hangman event, just swinging back and forth holding on by a hand was just exhilarating for me back in the day.  I couldn’t help but notice the giant blue columns of the climbing wall. The columns, tied down by in between by black chains and handlebars used to create a net for the kids to climb on.  I would use this thing to kick field goals in for football, as you can see; I was in love with the game of football.  Back then, I tried to incorporate football with everything I did.  Well, I climbed the wall and sat upon the top bar, having a breathtaking view of the park.  As my bare feet would shift through the cold, rocky sand, I noticed the set of swings in front of me.  I went over and took a seat on the red swing, then decided to fly back and forth a few times.  I realized that the swing started squeaking, which proved its old age.  Back when I was a child, that swing was used by all the kids in the neighborhood.  There wasn’t a time when I saw it not being used.  While swinging, it gave me an overlook of the whole park, which was beautiful.  It was the place where contests on who could fly the farthest were held.

After I launched myself off the swing, I went over to the little playground area for smaller children, which consisted of little red cranes to scoop and dump sand with, smaller sized swings, and its own little slide with tunnels to crawl through.  Kids had it great with this playground.  I went over to the red cranes, giving me memories about digging the biggest holes, as if I was a construction worker.  Back then, all kids loved to do was dig holes and what better a machine than a crane.  It consisted of a shiny black seat and two arm handles, which were each used to control a different part of the shovel on the machine.  Near the cranes was the smaller play structure which had the slides and tunnels, great to play hide and go seek in.  It also had two rows of yellow slides for quick fun.  The whole contraption consisted of two sets of yellow slides, one twisted and one straight, the little red tunnel for them to move from one area to the other and the steps for the children to walk to the tunnel.  By the structure were the little spring loaded rides, a horse and a turtle.  Both were tons of fun when I was young, I remember just riding the turtle for hours.  Those rides would remind me of when I saw little kids riding it as if they were back in the days of cowboys and Indians, chasing the Indians with their horse.  About 20 yards away from the playground was the sand volleyball court.  The court, regulation size, didn’t seem like it was used much over time, but I remember that place all the same; soft sand, black plastic border, and a net that rode about 6 feet high.  I remember all the older people playing there on weekends and at night; they would park their trucks toward the court with their lights on and play.  As for me, I don’t remember using it much when I was there, all I ever remember using the volleyball court was to throw the football over it for practice.  I used to throw the football back and forth for about an hour every time I was there, which helped me out in the future because I became a much better quarterback growing up.

After walking around the park and reminiscing more, I can’t help but wonder what the future holds for the park.  From the large massive green field to the little black benches that are placed throughout the park for the adults to watch their kids, the park has provided an infinite amount of fun for everyone.  As I slip on my sandals and return back to the hard concrete of growing up, I begin to think about how great the times were and how much of an amazing childhood I experienced at that park.  Although it has been awhile since I was last there, it was good to see that even though I’ve grown up and moved on, the park has always stayed the same.

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