Above: Town Supervisor John Malenick, his friends from Oswego, Chris and Josh, and Stan Longyear work on the landscaping for the Byron Lapp Memorial Trail Dedication on Monday. A plaque donated by the Thurston Schramm-Reynolds VFW Post 8137, Mens & Ladies Auxiliary, AM VETS, War Dads and the Montezuma Historical Society will be placed on the stone that was part of the crossover bridge at this Erie Canal Site.
Below: Dan Randolph and Stan Longyear, long time Scout buddies from their youth, and both veterans of Viet Nam dig holes for a sign donated by Farm Boy Graphics.
I read with interest Carmen Cosentino's article about Hoopes Park in today's Citizen. The title of the article is "The park that almost wasn't." I thought for a minute he must be writing about the Montezuma Heritage Park.
He was writing about the Memorial Day second annual Healing Field, Field of Hopes and Dreams event sponsored by St. Joseph's School. To think, that the Hoopes Park almost didn't happen and what everyone whose ever enjoyed that beautiful park in Auburn would have missed. I used to go there on my lunch hour never knowing that one day I would be involved with a park project in my hometown town. Would you believe that Hoopes Park was once a rubbish and ash dumping ground before the days of landfills? So was the old Erie Canal and Dry Dock Basin area in the land that Byron Lapp helped the town acquire back in the 1960s and 1970s. We could have ended up with never having access to this beautiful historic area. Herman Hoopes donated land back in the 1920s to be turned into a park." It took several years of hearings, meetings and arguing." Carm says, "Sound familiar?" I can't help but wonder again, "Is he talking about Auburn or Montezuma?"
I guess there will always be those nay-sayers who are afraid of change; who can't see the importance of our heritage. We're not talking a million-dollar park here. We're talking simple historic trails, to preserve our heritage, and to enjoy the beauty of the natural resources that we in this rural area of the Finger Lakes can so quickly take for granted. We talking about pride in our community. The same pride that the soldiers have who go to war for their country and proudly serve.
This day is dedicated to those who gave their life, and to the beauty of parkland, and to Byron Lapp who worked so hard to preserve it!