City of Wilton Manors Holiday Lights 2014

The night before, December 4th, was Wilton Manors’ Holiday Lighting party.  I should have went, really I should have.   I was out walking my trusty sidekick, Rack, the McNab Superdog, and was asked.

Not once, but by everyone who stopped to chat with us.

That Dog Walk Hour, you’re going to run into your neighbors.  It’s going to happen, just expect it.  The nice thing is that most of my neighbors are rather pleasant to talk to.  At least those who I see on a regular basis, which is to say those who have dogs.

Animal People.  

Show me someone who doesn’t like dogs, and I’ll show you someone who has an axe to grind on some level or another.

On the other hand, there are many people who shouldn’t own a picture of a stuffed animal let alone an intelligent being.  The reasons are many: Not enough time, disposable mindset, not financially ready, don’t understand how to properly handle the animal, bought one for “fashion”.   I could go on.  Those are the dogs that are straining at the end of a leash having a fit because you or your own dog are on its planet.

But for the most part, you’ll meet your neighbors and their dogs around that time of day.

I got back to wait to see if I had company to go over there to see the ceremony.  That didn’t happen and I wasn’t going to go on my own.  That question I’d have to answer of “Where’s Kevin” eleventy-seven times gets truly wearing.

The ceremony is an all ages party with soft drinks and cake, usually.  It’s fun and you get to see all your friends.  That “Mayberry” feel of being in a small town that I get is rather strong at this sort of event.  When I hear people grouse about where they live, I tell them these stories and suggest they move on in since they’ll like it here.

No matter where you go, there you are!

But I had missed the ceremony.  Too bad, I would have liked to speak with my friends who work for the city and volunteer for it.  That lists about 3/4ths of the people I know by name and face here actually.

Again, good people, open, easy to talk to.  Yes, I’m talking about the people who work for the City Of Wilton Manors.  If your experiences differ, you live in the wrong city, come on in, we’ll make room for you.  Aunt Bea may even have some Apple Pie made up fresh, and if there isn’t any stop on in and get some ice cream.  There are plenty of places for it.

Mayberry, 2014.

I knew I’d be able to see the tree and the Menorah and Kinara the next morning just before dawn.  It was 6:35AM, December 5, 2014 when I took that shot.  There’s a parking meter I used to frame the shot.  I actually had someone stop traffic for me so I could get it.

Friendly people here but that was a bit of an overkill.  See, they’ll do that sort of thing for you, stop traffic so a photographer will get Just That Shot.

Thanks, I’m honored and a bit surprised.

When they left, I got this one as the sun was starting to come up. 

So if you want to see our little display, it’s at Jaycee Park on Wilton Drive.  Park at Hagen Park, and you can see it as clear as day.

If anyone asks, tell them sent you.

That’s me, the tall guy holding the camera.

Wilton Manors Main Street lets you Write Your Name on Wilton Drive

Some cities loom larger than their size.  They mean more than the few folks there could imagine because of what they mean to those who don’t live there.

Wilton Manors is clearly one of those places.

Right in the heart of town is a little plot of land.  It was hardly usable for anything economic.  It could have been made into about 3 parking spaces, it could have housed a water tower, it could have been used for something equally as bland.

The city decided to convert it into a park.  Makes sense to me!  If you look at that map above, the little triangle at NE 5th Avenue, Wilton Drive, and NE 21st Court seems to be screaming to be made into something for the people that live there.  

Had a house been built there, it would have had the enviable position of being seen from all corners.  That’s not desirable, but being where it is it can be made into a meeting place for everyone.

That is what is beginning to take shape, slowly.  After all it is a Municipal “Vest Pocket” park in a small city, there are only 12000 people here, roughly, so finances will always be tight.

The first phase was to put in a little picnic area, and add in an area for what is called the “Children’s Art Project”.  That area went through the building of the “post card” feature.  An art installation of a chest high replica of a post card that was used to promote the properties of the city back when it was first settled back in the 1930s.  You can actually see the post card in this google maps street view and the park to the right.

Technological trickery aside, you will have a chance to participate in the growth of this little area.   The artists rendition on this page shows what it will look like once the plaza is complete.   The bricked up area is what they’re offering you a chance to be a part of.

The group, Wilton Manors Main Street, will be selling bricks to pave that area.  You have a chance to add your name or your groups name to the brick and have it added to the plaza.   The sale started yesterday, January 11, 2012, and can be participated by people all over the world.

If you have connections to the area, you can participate by clicking on this link and have your name in the sun.  Once the next phase begins, after all the bricks have been sold, you know I’ll have pictures of the work on my blog.  You can also get a longer description of what they’re trying to do at the little park.  After all, I helped put that page together.

After all, you don’t have to live in Wilton Manors to be a part of Wilton Manors.  Sometimes a little 4×8 inch brick is all you need.