Every Park, USA

On a rise of land in the Maryland countryside, crowned by two majestic old trees where a Civil War era farmhouse once stood, there is a wonderful county park. The slaves who tilled the soil and emptied the chamber pots, the brothers who went off to fight for the losing side in the Civil War – all are gone and forgotten now. The lane that was once paved with oyster shells and carried horsedrawn carriages is today paved with asphalt and carries the soccer moms, dogwalkers, lovers, runners, walkers and graffiti artists to their sojourns in the park. The lovers park their cars side-by-side in the late afternoon. The soccer moms park their SUVs in front of the “no parking” signs, crowding drivers in the road. The illegal immigrants, who have their own soccer league, prudently park their cars legally in the parking lot. Lone golfers hit balls directly in front of a “hitting golf balls not allowed” sign. Accompanied, but untethered dogs lift their legs on signs that say dogs must be on a leash at all times. The police, when they come at all, see nothing. The county park employees remove racial graffiti immediately, but leave the rest to become weather beaten. This is America. This is Every Park, USA.

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