Friday, March 28, 2008

400+ acres in the middle of waco - the most beautiful setting - acres upon acres of trees reaching for the sky - cliffs and overhangs - white rock - jagged and thrilling - at one time, and maybe it still is, it was the largest natural municipal park in the southwest - it was dedicated as a park in may of 1910 - donated to the city by the cameron family - william cameron - its the type of setting that may have been designed or envisioned by frederick law olmsted - the same guy who designed central park in new york -
they even have a lovers leap - with a legend - about young native americans leaping to their death in the name of love.
we used to hold family reunions there - in a club house - high on a hill - surrounded by trees and laughter -
when i was about 9 or 10 - bubba and i - and a cousin - ventured away from the families and crowd - scouting - back when you let your kids explore without fear for their safety - there was a beautiful timber staircase with intricate timber railings leading down the side of the hill to the paved parking lot below - the stairs were short and winding - bubba took a turn and under the railings he skipped - i followed - cuz was already half way down - having long ago abandoned the staircase of trees laid into the side of the hill - bubba and i were about a quarter of the way down when we were attacked by ground hornets - i don't remember knowing what it was that was biting me so viciously - just that it hurt like the dickens and all i could think to do was drop and roll - i didn't know where the stings were coming from, i just knew they were hurting bad - and someone was crying - loud - and people were screaming - and leaves were sticking to my face - and i had to get out of my clothes - i was running and rolling and running at the same time - then i was in the middle of the parking lot - screaming and crying - the pain was intense - strangers were running up to me - comforting me - but i wanted my momma and daddy - the rest of it is all a blur - i remember the doctor saying i was lucky - and i remember thinking - he was out of his mind - i was in more pain than i could ever remember and every 'little' part on my little body was swollen and puffy - my eyes were almost swollen shut - my who-ha was swollen - bubba and i had stings over 70% of our bodies.
that's one of those stories that people who tell, begin it by saying - remember that time -
still it's a beautiful park. if you are ever driving through waco - stop and take a look - i would just be more likely to lock my doors today.

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