Tenney Park celebration, Karen Crossley, 2019

A short story about Tenney Park and the Tenney-Lapham neighborhood, told by Karen Crossley.

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    Interviewer: This is Joe Orman on May 9th, 2019 and I am here with:

    Narrator: Karen Crossley – C-R-O-S-S-L-E-Y

    Interviewer: And today we’re just gonna talk about a favorite memory that you have at the park or, you know, something that you remember about the park.

    Narrator: Ok, well, my husband and I and our family have lived in the neighborhood for thirty-one years and raised our children here. They were all born, and raised, now they’re adults.

    Interviewer: [LAUGHS]

    Narrator: So we have many, many, many, many memories ranging from summertime swimming at the beach--I still swim in the lakes--to playing on the playground. We’re avid winter lovers so ice skating, here, at the park, on the lagoons when it was super duper cold, bringing our shovels over when no one else was over here and just playing with neighbors--and yeah--it was like our big backyard.

    Interviewer: Do you have a, like a favorite memory or something that really stands out to you from your time here?

    Narrator: Yeah, well, just so many. I love the fact, though, that from Tenney Park you look out over Lake Mendota and you can see the beautiful sky--

    Interviewer: Right

    Narrator: --Particularly in the afternoon, and evening, and the sunsets. And so, there were many, many days when we would stroll over, either with my husband, myself, with our children--one of our children--and just walk along the path by the beach and out on the breakwater. Or coming home on the bike, or whatever, and just admiring that big vista from right here on the isthmus, beautiful.

    Interviewer: That’s really great. Uh, do you have any thoughts about the one hundred year anniversary of the park or, you know, how the park’s changed over the years

    Narrator: Sure, well I feel really lucky and honored that I got to work on the planning team--

    Interviewer: Hmmm

    Narrator: --For this whole thing. So beginning last summer when I met with Caroline Hoffman--who actually submitted the grant on behalf of the neighborhood and received it--she was looking for some pals and partners to help. So I’ve been really in on this project from the ground floor, ranging from the art installation, which will be unveiled later today, and I’m really excited about that. But we lived in a one-hundred-year-old house and just so many aspects of the park and the neighborhood celebrating the hundred years are really fun to lift up.

    Interviewer: Alrighty, fantastic.