News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Opinion Columns

March 9, 2013

RONN MOTT: Change of seasons

I have lived elsewhere long enough to appreciate the change in seasons. After a winter’s cold and freezing precipitation, one looks forward to the coming spring. Spring gives way to summer and all the activities summer affords us outside.

Autumn may be my favorite of all with blue skies, nice temperatures, and the beautiful leaves on the trees that grow in Indiana. On encroaching winter then gives us Thanksgiving, Christmas, St. Valentine’s Day, and cold.

I’m aware of the seasons more because I observe a park on a daily basis. There are many beautiful parks in Terre Haute, but I live in close proximity to one of the oldest parks in our city. It is Collett Park. On the north it is bordered by Collett Street, on the south by Maple Avenue, on the east by Ninth Street, and on the west by Seventh Street.

It appears from my observations that even with snow and such, people are always using the park … walking their dogs, walking with friends, or just walking. It is not a very large park as parks go, but was awarded to us by Mr. Collett and made a park for the city in 1883. (The house I live in was built in 1890.) It has been many years since Mr. Collett was with us, but were he here, I believe he would be glad to see the park he donated to Terre Haute being used by the general population.

I look out now, about three weeks before spring begins, and the grass is brown, the dark gray of the tree branches are barren of leaves, and there is a stillness to the beauty of the park. Spring will soon bring the carpeting of the little white flowers that cover the ground in Collett Park. Summer will come with all kinds of activities, car shows, music, weddings, people running, kids playing soccer, and of course the dogs really loving the warm weather.

I’m sure Mr. Collett may have foreseen many of these activities, but he had no way of knowing the park would be a respite from all of the cyber-activity and the speed we are obtaining every day while living our lives in the 21st century. The park, if you can take the time to enjoy it, is an open-air tranquilizer to aid us in our fast-paced lives.

I look forward to trees with leaves, bushes with foliage, and flowers here and there and the color it brings to the park. Again, kudos to those who work to keep the park trim and neat, and to a city which feels having parks like Collett is an important asset to our daily existence.

Ronn Mott, a longtime radio personality in Terre Haute, writes commentaries for the Tribune-Star. His pieces are published online Tuesday and Thursday on Tribstar.com, and in the print and online editions on Saturday.

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