Wednesday, January 4, 2023

Parsons Preserve Dedication

(This is a reprint of an older blog post.)

The Camp Verde Town Council voted unanimously in July 2017 to name a 40-acre piece of prime river property Parsons Preserve.

I was overcome with emotion at the time.  Typically, things don't get named for people until long after they are dead. At least one Board of Geographic Place Names I know says you have to be dead FIVE years before something can get named for you.

Well, I was very much alive when this happened...and still am!  So, it came as somewhat of a shock that such a august body would name riverfront property for me.

Time passed. Various real & imagined circumstances conspired to keep any sort of a Parsons Preserve Dedication from happening. And more time passed.

A few months ago, I suggested to the ramrod of the Parsons Preserve Project, Steve Ayers, that we somehow get it together to have a Dedication.  By and by, we agreed to make it happen and the details eventually resolved themselves. We even made a heck of a set of maps to show people how to get there.  You can see the maps here:

Today was The Day--April 6 @ 11 AM on The Site.

We had obsessed for weeks about our speech for the Dedication.  It came right down to the wire when we printed out the final draft at 7 AM Saturday.  By that time, it was lock & load and "Git-N-Go" mode.  Susun worked two days on getting signs ready to roll.

We left the house fully prepared at 8 AM sharp Saturday.  It took an hour to get all the 11 signs distributed to the proper places to help people find the Dedication site.

We got back down to the site just in the nick of time to meet two Dear Friends who couldn't attend the event but arrived early to visit and say "howdy."  It was So Fun!

The event began evolving better when Steve Ayers and his wife and Rainia Zhang arrived.  The women enjoyed talking while Steve and  I went back to the end of the pavement.  There we met with the Camp Verde Marshall's Office Volunteer who had been detailed to direct traffic.  He was from Homer, Alaska, so the three of us swapped halibut fishing & eating stories, Naturally a few whopper fish stories were told.

By and by, guests began arriving and the pace picked up as the clocked ticked toward the 11 AM Event Time.

Most attendees drove into the site while a few walked.  I did succeed in enticing a couple of neighbors to ride in with me. Turns out those two neighbors are the ringleaders of local support for The Preserve and Liz presented me with a fine piece of photo art she created.

It was funny, we were driving in and Liz said, "Do you work for the Town of Camp Verde?"  ANd I said, "No, I am just a citizen."  She didn't have a clue who I was until later and then she was surprised.  She told Steve, "He never said a word about who he was."

Well, when you get a park named for you, what are you going to say?  I simply have never been able to brag or boast.  I mean it is what it is.

Pretty soon a fair large group of Dear Friends congregated at the rather rough location for the Dedication.  I eventually said it was 40 people.  Susun says it was 46.  Let's just say it was in the 40's.

Some people said they were coming and didn't.  Some people came who never said they would.  That's the way it goes with  an event.

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