Back in the day, the colleges had a faculty wives organization. I do not remember the name of it, and I remember wondering what the faculty husbands did. Whatever the origin, I made some good friends through the group, and my favorite activity was the “Meet-in-the-Park-for-Friday-Lunch” with the babies, toddlers and preschoolers.
One friend, who moved away many years ago, was in charge of choosing a park of the month. In September when it was still very hot, we always chose Wheeler Park for the shade provided by the big trees. Betsy was always on the look-out for new parks, and occasionally we would leave the Claremont borders and head to Upland, Cucamonga, La Verne or San Dimas.
In those days, the parks had very different play equipment than they do now. I have not seen a merry-g0-round, teeter-totter, burning hot slide, or other gems that might possibly cause injury, and were, therefore, lots of fun. Nowadays there are large plastic pieces which just don’t feel right to me.
Instead of using the official names of the parks, my kids would call them by their defining characteristics, and Higgenbotham Park was the train park. It had an Old West theme with a red train, a stagecoach, and I think it even had a facade of a jail. I wish I had photos of that.
Here is my daughter enjoying the former fun. The photo at the top is the train that has replaced the original.