Park Memories

Below are memories shared at the Lincoln Park Groundbreaking...


FROM MOLLY (2nd grade):

My oldest memory was playing basketball with my dad when I was two. I remember when I went to Kindergarten, it was my first day of school and I went to the blacktop for the first time. I also went to the field, the grass was sooooo soft, softer than it is right now. Another memory is of first grade beach day. We went to the park and laid down on towels while eating ice cream. The last memories I am going to share are of second grade. This one is of field day, I love playing on the grass and eating a popsicle. Also, me and my friend Nancy made a birdhouse. It was very fun. Also, my class took a tour around the field. I am looking forward to the new park, which will have a hammock park and an outdoor classroom! 

FROM MAYA (6th grade):

Looking through the school windows

Daydreaming in class

Perhaps about

The cooling sprinklers

On a hot day

Or the swings

Or running through

The wide open field

And sitting in the shade

Lying in the grass

Waiting for a friend

Lots of memories

Like when you learned

To ride a bike








Skinned knee



Playing pretend

Climbing the conifer

The park

Its presence here

All my life

We will miss.


FROM LORETTA (Life-long neighbor):

Memories of Lincoln Park – fun!

Summer recreation, and lots of firsts – Learning how to ride a two-wheeler, Officer Kelly giving bike safety tips, Learning how to ice skate, Being at the end of the whip and screaming so loud,

Humor -- hopes of a boy tripping you with his hockey stick,

Having a hot chocolate at Leo and Mary’s (AKA Stephanie’s “shed”),

Recreation leaders, and the old tin shed that housed the equipment -- kick ball, dodge ball, tennis, jacks, stones, checkers, bean bags, horse-shoes, jump ropes…


Swings – sometimes a swing would be tucked away and that evening we all took turns trying to jump over the bars, thankfully without success,

Story telling by Walter Flaherty, and arts and crafts with Miss McCarthy,

Making gimp necklaces to hold our whistle or skate key,

Competing with city parks to win a medal, and end-of-season trips to PLAYDAY at Dilboy field.

Who could forget our huge one-foot cement pool that cooled us off on a hot summer day?

When I see an ice cream hoodie, to this day, I picture Alderman Billy Joyce handing out one to every kid of the Fourth of July,

Watching fire-works sitting on the bleachers (remember the splinters?), followed by bonfires in the center of the field,

Carnivals, bean suppers, and neighborhood mothers gathering after SUPPAH on the park benches.

It is my hope that the younger families will have as good of memories as we did… back in the day!


FROM GINA FOGLIA (Long-time neighbor and active “Friend of Lincoln Park”):

Dear Somerville Friends:

Thank you for letting me share a few words of Lincoln Park remembrance. I am delighted the park is receiving its current attention. I am also delighted to see a revived ‘Friends of Lincoln Park’ getting as involved and advocating

for this community gem. Thirty years ago, I lived on Wyatt St for 15 years. Teresa Cardoso and Natalie Vieira should get awards for their tireless energy and advocacy, generosity, laughter and all the delicious food they brought to those pot luck picnics way back when. 

Val Donovan, Helena Hardy, David Vieira, and Joe Cardoso were really pitched in with work and smiles on clean-up days. Retired Frank DeBaise could talk your ear off about his Navy history but was always walking around and keeping his eye on the park. I could count on Dennis Hardy and Bill Donovan for just about any idea, especially ripping up black top to plant raspberries and blackberries. My picnic berry-cherry cobbler was a hit! Know where I got the ingredients…

I hope the red bench gets placed so both infield and outfield can be seen. I hope it gets leveled. The bench honors the two community movers and shakers who lived adjacent to the park on Bowdoin and who drew me into Friends of LP, Laura and Ross Brimer, an example of a dedicated loving couple. Also, his baked beans and potato biscuits were so yummy. Ross was always there as overseer, supplier of the BBQ, always appreciative of others, always a respected US Veteran. Laura backed him up and talked to all the kids. Ross walked his dog Sadie, made her sit and 'smile' for anyone willing to chat. That’s why they are known as the Mayor and First Lady of Lincoln Park. That's why we chose 'Americana Red' as the bench color. They would bring out their chairs and cheer on all the kids from that spot...viewing both infield and outfield.

The first week it was installed, I saw a woman sitting eating lunch there. She said the park was a gem and she walked often from Inman Square to have lunch there. Upon her arrival, the red caught her eye and she made a 'bee' line to it. Just what we and she wanted! Imagine Lincoln Park as a ‘destination place’.

There might have been an article in the Journal regarding the art project I worked on with the school art teacher where 2nd and 4th graders wrote or drew a response to one of three questions we asked about their likes, dislikes, or dreams for the Park. Charrette Corporation donated double sided laminating and grommets in all four corners. We mounted a month-long art show on the lower backstop. Many local kids helped install it. It was successful in several ways: Attendance went up when children brought their parents to the park to see their artwork, children felt they were important, and the city got to hear from the main users at that time.

We had a successful community build for playground improvement: All new equipment that around 50 long time neighbors and college students installed over two weekends. I also remember wonderful pick-up games both on lower and especially upper fields. Sorry such an opportunity is lost to organized sports or maybe it is just a sign of the times…do young people even know what a pick-up game is? These games opened a way for neighbors to get to know neighbors, especially those who did not have kids in school. It helped seniors, too! They came out to play or watch and everyone got to know them and hear their stories.

We had a perennial garden for a while. I would intentionally tend it while league games were on, bringing a few extra sets of tools. Invariably some stray kids would come and help. I thought better I teach them how to cut the flowers so more would come instead of seeing the whole plant destroyed.

I made lasting friendships, and sweet acquaintances. I still bump into people elsewhere from then… Most recently saw Ted Alkaide in Amherst. He and Elizabeth lived on Perry across from the park – they initially bought because of the Park and the Friends of Lincoln Park Community group. Last year in New Hampshire it was the cello player and his wife with the long haired dachshund. We all have fond memories. I think the new design will bring on more.  Use it, take care of it, make friends there and totally enjoy. Thank you.