Park ticular

In spite of my whirlwind morning of appointments and errands, I was able to schedule a luncheon with visiting colleagues at a local downtown restaurant. The lunch crowd was buzzing and there seemed to be an air of mirth in the establishment. Afterwards we decided to take the time to review all the recent improvements to the buildings downtown. Several of the owners came out and talked about the improvements that have already been made as well as the future planned improvements. One thing that I seemed to be more keen on in our walking and talking over the different buildings, was the different views of Central Park. My eyes seemed to always look back at the park from yet another angle while we were walking. Today I was even more impressed at how Mason City’s central square park has truly complimented the downtown. It is terribly refreshing to find old growth Hackberry trees thriving and creating a canopy of shade for the city strollers. Most people have no idea how old those trees are. I would guess those Hackberries are at least 100 years old. Whomever decided to plant them in the park had real vision of the future of Mason City because the Hackberry tree has been known to live up to and over 1,000 years. I have to laugh to myself when speaking about Hackberry trees. Did you know that in the late summer when their tiny berries ripen, Robins eat them until they become drunk and act really stupid. Someone dared me to eat one of them once and in truth they taste like sweet cooked squash. I guess their not poisonous because I’m still here after so many years after the dare.

So, I hope more of the residents take a bit more park ticular attention to Central Park. It’s delightful!

Joe Chodur

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