You can almost see it

Posted 7/26/22

The schematic is simple. A rectangle between two roads and two property lines.

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You can almost see it


The schematic is simple. A rectangle between two roads and two property lines.

At this point, it’s just a field in the middle of a residential neighborhood—while utilized and adequate, it is not teeming with energy.

But when I look at the schematic, I can imagine a place with an improved baseball diamond, a soccer field, a good-looking basketball court. It is a great showcase for the already-in-place playground equipment. I see trees, benches, perhaps a solar-powered pavilion; it’s someplace where families can hang out together while their children play. I see community game days, pop-up camping events, programming and a place of innovation and creativity.

I have fond memories of sitting for years on the bleachers on that very field on the Flats in Narrowsburg. I thoroughly enjoyed cheering for our hometown boys on the Dodgers. My son, Zac, and I named our first dog Dodger after that team. Dodger lived to the ripe old age of 17.

Anyone who grew up on the Flats has fond memories of the field. 

Bob Bunnell, a long-time Narrowsburg Dodgers Little Fellow League coach before the Curreris ably took it on, remembers it as well.

Bob has special memories from his many years of coaching and growing up in Narrowsburg. In a recent trip this month, he brought photos and a scrapbook that his mother, Doris, had kept for him. In it are clippings from the News-Times, Narrowsburg’s letterpress paper that closed in 1974, recording significant baseball events throughout his coaching career. He proudly showed me the picture of his 1970 Narrowsburg Dodgers team, which was undefeated, and one of two consecutive championship teams for the Dodgers. He ticks off each player’s name as he points them out. (The loss of the News-Times sparked the creation of The River Reporter by long-time residents who could not imagine Narrowsburg without a paper.)

Bob went on to coach at the university level, and there he was able to nurture young ballplayers, including Narrowsburg native Cliff Kelly, whom he recruited.

Still working in college athletics, Bob is returning to his roots. He was in town to begin organizing efforts to memorialize the field on the Flats to the three Narrowsburg firemen—Paul Brock, Brett Hankins and Jay Lairia, all good ball players—who died in a fiery small firetruck accident on June 29, 1979 while returning from an early July 4 parade in Montrose, PA. For years, the Montrose firemen would have a presence in Narrowsburg’s July 4 parade.

At this time of uncertainty, with a changing demographic, with gentrification and economic divide at our doorsteps, improvements to the field on the Flats, and the building of a public universally accessible space is a fitting response. It is a project that we, regardless of our political idealogies, can get behind. It gets us talking together about things that are meaningful to us—like our children. Like the future we want to build for us all.

Memorializing this field connects the present and the future to the town’s vibrant past history, its legacy families and the landscape that we all, whenever we arrived, hold in our hearts. This type of community-building opportunity exists wherever we live.

Let’s talk. Let’s scheme. Let’s see what we can accomplish, connecting to each other in ways that enhance community relationships and resilience.

Join us as we amplify these efforts and each of our voices. Let’s talk about what we’d like to see in our towns. It’s a perfect opportunity in our rapidly changing world. 

Stay tuned for more details on “Let’s Talk,” a River Reporter initiative to foster dialogue to enhance our communities.

lets talk, community dialogue, bob bunnell


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