Communities Create The Opportunity
I went down to the park the other day to watch some Little League baseball.
I don’t know if it’s just me or are these Little League kids getting that much better?
First off, the park was full of people all there to watch the next great athletes. Parents, grandparents and fans alike could be heard all over the park. Cheering and rooting on their favorite teams and players.
The weather was hot – near 90 degrees – so it made me think back to the 60s when we played up by the football field. The Little League fields were not yet built at the park and the summer heat normally sent the kids to the creek or river for a swim.Very few homes had air conditioning and most cars didn’t either.
To get an opportunity to go for a swim was a treat. Occasionally, when money was available, a trip to Bruce Park or Sistersville City Park meant a swim in a nice community pool. Otherwise, the river was normally the only option.
As time went by, many concerned citizens and business people decided it was time to have a nice public park with ball fields, other amenities and a swimming pool. Lots of time and money were donated, and the dream became a reality. It was great watching the kids and people enjoying the Little League fields and the playground equipment.
Paden City has a gem of a park. Kind of a safe haven for our youth – a place for people to exercise, a great walking trail with a beautiful view. Camping along the river front and new docks at the marina. The shelters are great for picnics and family gatherings.
The park is used for many different things, not just ball games but music events, boo in the park, the harvest festival, river sweep cleanup, alumni events and many other things that the whole community enjoys. Oh yea, and let’s not forget we hold Memorial Day services there and the National Day of Prayer event.
How many people want to go back to the days when it wasn’t there? It is one of the only things we have left and it has potential for much more growth. Throughout the years, many great athletes have sharpened their skills at Paden City Park. The park is essential to the growth of Paden City and to the future of our high school.
Without the swimming pool, we lose the best part of the park. Maybe not many kids don’t use it as they use to but remember, there are not as many kids as there used to be. Summers aren’t as long and most importantly, the pool is not in very good condition. Upkeep is what is needed. You can’t neglect your property and expect it to still be attractive. The pool has been neglected too long. Patching it and making temporary repairs will no longer work. Many excuses have been made as to why the pool is not opening and the most blatant has been there is a lack of certified lifeguards. The real problem is not the kids, it’s the adults.
The Paden City Park and pool should be a priority to all of Paden City. Just the thought of kids swimming in the river should be enough to keep the pool open. Swimming is as much an athletic event as any other sport and Paden City’s children have as much right to a swimming pool as they do to athletic fields and basketball courts.
Paden City has long been known for their athletic teams.
The park has received comments from all over the valley about it’s beauty and facilities. As parents, we want great things for our children. And as a town, we want great things for our community. It can’t happen unless we have the desire and motivation to overcome the odds and the obstacles that stand in our way.
The key to success is desire; without it we can’t succeed. It’s true in every aspect of life – a child can’t succeed as an athlete or anything else without the desire to do so. I have seen situations where parents have taken away opportunities for their children to succeed. The same thing happens in communities that don’t provide for their children. Those places take away from the children, so they fail.
Often, I have heard it said that parents are responsible for how their children turn out. The same applies to our community. We have a responsibility to provide the best place for people to raise their children.
While communities can’t supply talent, desire or dedication, they can offer opportunity. Courage to try new things and to be decisive are keys to success. Honesty and forgiveness may be the most difficult key to success of all. The ability to be honest in self evaluation is a rare but necessary skill. There is nothing more debilitating than the inability to forgive your own or others mistakes. Desire, teamwork, dedication and courage are all compromised when a competitor won’t forgive.
Teamwork is a virtue that the world is hungry for. In great teams, the team covers for each individual’s weaknesses while it values and makes full use of each individual’s strengths. Teamwork is obviously important in sports but the truth is that teamwork is every bit as important in the workplace, at home and in the community.
I see New Martinsville is investing in the Lewis Wetzel pool. Sistersville has maintained its pool over the years and it is as nice today, if not better, than when it was first constructed. Sistersville’s pool is a fine example that community pools can still thrive, this past weekend it was overflowing with kids. All made possible by some generous business people and community organizations and a positive outlook from city leaders. I believe Paden City can once again have a nice safe pool for everyone to enjoy. However, it will take teamwork and cooperation from all involved. We have one person on the park and pool commission willing to keep the pool open, lets get behind him and make it happen.