Will you give me your ideas on a proposed civic improvement which our fair city of Hamilton is contemplating? You are a public spirited gentleman, and may have a happy suggestion. We have a nice park here which is mainly a woods planned by nature, but cleared of underbrush, and situated in the heart of the town. The country around here is undulating, including the park; so the clearing on a knoll which is used as a play ground is not suitable for a game of soft ball. Last year the local service clubs got their noodles together and sponsored a WPA project which would level off the knoll and fill in some low spots, to provide a pretty decent ball field and tennis courts. Incidentally, the hand labor involved would give work to a lot of local needy for several months. Well, the thing simmered along until a short time ago when the award was made. And that brought forth some protests. The levelling job would involve sacrificing about a dozen trees, and this is a sacrilege. Of course, that arguement doesn’t hold water, however much one may care for trees, for thousands of trees had to be cut down to make way for the houses and streets of the town; and there must be more than a thousand elsewhere in the park. So I think we have to look further than the actual complaints to discover the trouble. I rather think it originates in the possible nuisance a lively ball game can mean to those who live in close proximity to the park. They have had a peaceful, woodsy outlook; and are threatened with bedlam. And who can blame them for kicking? But I have yet to hear a complaint from any folks who have kids. So the question is: how to conciliate the good citizens whose peace may be disturbed? Personally, I think the nuisance won’t amount to much.
An interesting sidelight on the park situation is the fact that we are going to have a city election next month, and the city fathers are consequently reluctant to take any definite stand on a controversial question. And you cannot blame them. But this illustrates in a small way just about what goes on down in Washington. Roosevelt was a clever man not to even slightly intimate his intentions with respect to the judiciary before election. Why do we place a premium on cleverness, instead of candor?
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