Homemade Park Interview with Don

By Adrianna Santiago Pass

A: Tell me about how you began Homemade Park.

D: This all started about 15 years ago and that was nothing but a city dump over there. And with help from my friends, who lives right on top of the hill here, we got 175 dump truck loads of dirt in there. So, then the city got involved cause I was rerouting water and that didn’t work…. So, this city parks department boss that’s retired now came by and he said “youre runin all the space over there.” Well, that was clean dirt…been layin over there for 100 years. Now, how did I ruin that? Oh lets see. I got in all leveled out and they settled down with that for a few minutes and then…. Well those trees were only about 6 to 7 feet tall when I started and their probably 50 now. That’s how long I’ve had them goin. But, that took me 2 years to get that brush cleaned out and I wasn’t getting much help from the city.

A: I was thinking about the water for a garden in that space. Do you have any suggestions for me?

D: Sure. Well, I’ve got a pump that sits right back there in the back And that’s another thing came up…

A: So, You were watering it?

D: I was watering that, yes. And so one day the cops came by, says, “ What’s that hose doin across there?” And I told him. Now, they can’t get me for stealing water because it aint mine.” So, about a month ago, here come the city. And the vines were growing clear down over the curb. So, here comes some goon from the city. And got a weed eater. And I thought well, wow, that’s going to take a while. But, it ended up he did the curb and about 4 feet back from it. And I said, “Is that it?” And he said, “yeah.”

A: What do you think it would take to get them to let us have a garden?

D: I don’t know you’d have to talk to some goon down there that’s in charge.

A: What made you decide to plant trees and grass over there?

D: It was a trash hole. That 175 dump truck loads of dirt is a lot.

A: Where did you get the dirt?

D: Right off that hill over there. And Mayford Petty was a good bud of mine. He lived over here in this one with the tile roof. And he was the one who got the dirt set up for me. He was the same one who’s…his kid died in Vietnam. And that’s where the street Perry Parkway came from, right over here. But those people never ever really came by and said thank you. And, well, I’ve got reservations about that.

A: We could turn it into Victory Garden. You suggested to call it Victory Garden.

D: Well, I’d go with anything. There’s a sign over there that says Homemade Park.

A: Did you make it?

D: Yeah. And there’s a lot of things I’d like to do.

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March 2020


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