Tenney Park celebration, Jeanette Deloya, 2019

A two-part short story about Tenney Park and the Tenney-Lapham neighborhood, told by Jeannette Deloya.

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  • File #1



    Interviewer: So this is Joe Orman. It’s uh, May 19th 2019 and I am here with-

    Narrator: Jeanette Deloya. ‘D’ as in David. E-L-O-Y-A.

    Interviewer: Alrighty. So can you tell me a little bit about your experience with the Tenney Park neighborhood?

    Narrator: Yeah. So I lived in the Tenney neighborhood for the last thirty-two years.

    Interviewer: Okay.

    Narrator: Almost 33 years.

    Interviewer: Wow!

    Narrator: And have always lived within the same, um, either street or the street right next to the street that I currently live on. Um, have grown to know the people and this place quite well. Love this park and have raised my kids here so they also have roots in this community and this neighborhood.

    Interviewer: Absolutely. Can you tell me a little bit about your, uh, favorite experiences with the park or favorite seasons to visit?

    Narrator: Yeah. So, um, actually almost every season--

    Interviewer: Mmm.

    Narrator: --is a favorite season in this park. I come from here with my two dogs. We’ve paddled down the river when it’s open. When it’s snowing we come and take photographs of crystals on trees. We spend time on the lagoon skating--in the wintertime. When the spring comes we’re like right out there enjoying the trees and what’s happening with, like, just the seasonal changes and what we can see. I think we’ve done everything from just sit in the park and have a picnic, to spending the entire day here with a hot thermos of hot cocoa and never even going home. Just spending the day. Yeah.

    Interviewer: That’s fantastic.

    Narrator: So. It’s a favorite place to be.

    Interviewer: Can you talk a little bit about, um, how the park has changed in, uh, the years that you’ve been here?

    Narrator: Sure. So I would say that in the first fifteen years that we were here there were actually times when I'm not sure that I would have felt so comfortable even walking through the park--alone--felt more comfortable with the dogs at my side. But that there were certainly times where it felt like [PAUSE] when – when I was nervous about that for my safety. And over the last ten years--possibly part of all the renovation that’s been doing there and all the attention that the park has received--it has increasingly felt like a comfortable place to be. Um, now when I walk through with my dogs – on leashes –

    Interviewer: [CHUCKLES}

    Narrator: --I’ll walk by and people who are here and kind of spending time here will say, “Hey, bring those pretty dogs over here!” And so there’s, um a sense of familiarity with the people who spend a lot of time here. And in general, it’s just become a place that I feel pretty comfortable.

    I would say also that it’s gotten cleaner. It’s gotten shinier. It’s gotten more accessible. It has evolved and stayed current. The parks--the playgrounds--have changed. Um, it’s just been the recipient of good neighborhood and community attention.

    Interviewer: That’s great to hear. And can you, uh, really quickly tell me a little bit about what you’re doing at the celebration today?

    Narrator: So, part of what I’m doing at the celebration is welcoming Bill and Bobby Malone [sp?] who will be performing outside in just a little while. Um, and I’m here just to kind of help and celebrate the park.

    Interviewer: Okay. Fantastic.

  • File #2


    00:11—Life Lessons with Fisherman Greg


    Interviewer: This is Joe Orman on May 19, 2019. I’m here back with ah Jeanette Deloya and she does have a story that she’d like to share.

    Narrator: Yes. So here’s my story. Um, on a regular basis--almost every single day--I walk my dogs through this park.

    Interviewer: Mhmm.

    Narrator: Sometimes it’s down on the jetty, sometimes it’s up through the park and past the tennis courts and along the lagoon and home. And um as I um, as I’ve been doing that I’ve been getting to know a fair number of the people that spend their time in this park. And one of them is a fisherman whose name, I believe, might be Greg. Or something like that. And Greg was always out on the pier every single day, fishing. And after a while, I would say hello to Greg as I walked by and he [inaudible]--sometimes he was out there with his grandsons and sometimes he was out there by himself-- But after a while, we got to know each other. And um one day as I was walking by – he was a little bit grumpy, kind of grumpy--

    Interviewer: Mhmm.

    Narrator: --sort of craggy kind of guy. And he’s out there and he’s fishing and he’s throwing his line in and I walk by just as he’s pulling like this tiny little three-and-a-half inch bluegill up out of the water and he doesn’t look too excited – I’m excited because he’s just caught a fish and I got to see it.

    And I said,
    “Wow, Greg you just caught a fish!”

    He goes, “Ah, yeah, it’s just a bluegill.”

    I said, “But that’s great!”

    He said, “Naaah, I-I’m just gonna throw him back in.”

    I’m like, “Why are you gonna throw him back in?”

    He goes, “I’m – he’s bait. This little fish is just gonna be bait.”

    And I said, “Awww, Greg, bait? Poor little guy.”

    You know, just then he, like, heaves this bluegill back into the water and [it] goes, like, skimming along the surface and plops down into the water and he turns and he looks at me and he goes. “Well you know, that’s the life of a fish.”

    Interviewer: [LAUGHS]

    Narrator: And I said, “Life of a fish, that’s kinda, that’s too bad.”

    He goes, “Well you know sometimes you just--it takes a little one to catch a big one.”

    Interviewer: [LAUGHS]

    Narrator: And I thought well that’s like the lesson for me for today, I’m gonna remember that. Sometimes it just takes a little one to catch a big one. Thanks, Greg. So, there’s life’s lessons at Tenney Park.

    Interviewer: Okay, alrighty.