I wasn’t sure what to expect when I went to cover Sherman’s community input session on planned renovations to its skate park on Thursday.
I’d been out to the existing skate area at Hawn Park and, even as a nonskater, was severely underwhelmed by the features available for the community to use. So it was hard to tell how important the issue was going to be to the area skaters.
I had also spoken to Park and Recreation Manager Theresa Hutchinson before the event and she wasn’t sure what kind of response they were going to get, especially with the steep drop in temperature the area experienced that afternoon. She said she would be thrilled if 25 people showed up and ecstatic if the event got 50 attendees.
But when I walked in, the room was a hive of activity with people of all ages scattered everywhere leaving little doubt they’d reach 50 attendees. Many of them had their skateboards with them and I noticed the majority were wearing Vans sneakers, a preferred skateboarding shoe. With many of the things I cover, I usually fall into the category of being one of the youngest in the room or one of the oldest, but this gathering was eclectic. There were girl skaters, there were boy skaters, there were older skaters and there was even a mother there with her baby.
And in the back of the room sat Sherman Deputy Mayor Pamela Howeth, who told me she was there in part for her constituents as Hawn Park falls within her City Council district.
Many of the skaters were filling out forms, which surprised me as I expected a rowdy bunch, and drawing their ideal skate parks. I asked the deputy mayor whether she planned to draw her ideal skate park, but she said she was mainly there to support the community.
When I was looking over the photos of the possible features the city could install in the planned skate park renovation, which will also expand its current footprint, I was asked whether I was a skater. I responded the way I always have, that I wasn’t but I wish I was coordinated enough to ride a skateboard. I’ve always been a big fan of skateboarding, but wouldn’t trust I could ride one for any distance without falling and cracking my head open.
That response got a smile and a nod from a more seasoned skater nearby, so I felt accepted despite being an outsider. And seeing the excitement in that room, I’m anxious to see what the city does with the $250,000 it has budgeted for the work.
Happy birthday Saturday to Kobjovi Akibode and Susan Lee, both of Sherman; Juanita Olivarez of Howe; Richard McCracken of Bells; and Joyce Parker of Atlanta.
Happy anniversary Saturday to Jerry and Francina Dehorney, of Denison, 49 years; and Alan and Dena Elk of Gordonville, 27 years.