Tenney Park celebration, Patty Prime, 2019

A short story about Tenney Park and the Tenney-Lapham neighborhood, told by Patty Prime.

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    Interviewer: Hi there, this is Joe Orman on May 19, 2019, and I am here with

    Narrator: Patty Prime, P-A-T-T-Y P-R-I-M-E

    Interviewer: Great, and today we are going to be talking about, uh, Tenney Park, and the Tenney-Lapham neighborhood, and I was wondering if you could sort of share one of your favorite stories or maybe you have a memory that you really like about this park?

    Narrator: Um, one of my favorite memories of the park is the playground--the old playground that was here when I first moved in. They had a slide in the park that looked extremely dangerous. We called it the roller-slide and it was made of rollers. And you would--

    Interviewer: Yeah!

    Narrator: --roll it down it and it just looked like it was guaranteed to squeeze little children’s fingers and toes. And, uh, and I don’t know of that ever happening, but, um, that slide went away. They’re a lot more conscious of safety these days, so we have a very safe playground now. But that was one of my memories, of bringing my kids over here for the roller slide, and they’d beeline straight for the slide.

    Interviewer: Did you--so your kids never got hurt from it or anything like that?

    Narrator: No, not from that, no [LAUGHS] but they got in a lot of other accidents.

    Interviewer: So do you remember, uh, any favorite winter or summer activities that you had in the park?

    Narrator: Um, I think probably the--one of my favorite memories is walking. I would like to walk from my house down to the end of the breakwater at sunset. Everybody loves to do that. And I would bring my daughter on my bike, and then we’d bike down to the other end of the river and then back again and watch the sun--finish watching the sunset. It was just a nice little ritual.

    Interviewer: That’s wonderful, so, are, do you still live in this neighborhood?

    Narrator: Yes, I do.

    Interviewer: Oh, uh, how long have you lived here then?

    Narrator: I’ve lived here since 1984. Uh, we bought a house on Sydney Street in 1984, and, there were, I would guess about one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine children living on Sydney street at that time and I, I don’t know how many houses, like forty or fifty houses. So it was really a neighborhood of people who had lived there a really long time, and, um, obviously that’s decades ago--

    Interviewer: Right--

    Narrator: --and as the decades went on so many families came--moved into the neighborhood. We thought we could pretty much populate an elementary school right at the end of our street [NARRATOR AND INTERVIEWER LAUGH] because there were so many kids there. And the whole neighborhood has changed like that. It’s become a place not where people are moving away from but where people move to. And that’s kind of what we’re celebrating today, with our century celebration is, you know, like 100 years of this neighborhood, and it just keeps getting better

    Interviewer: That’s great, that’s really great to hear, OK