Anyway, when we got to Hadley Park, it was as ordinary and uneventful as you might expect a park to be. People were grilling out in the picnic pavilion closest to 28th and those Red Hat women were meeting in the pavilion closer to the playground. The playground equipment looked good. They even have this weird triple slide thing that I wanted to see in action, but there weren't any kids. I don't know if three kids are supposed to race down it or what, but it looked cool.
The ballfields looked good, though we had a good laugh that the bleachers are aluminum and in good shape, but the dugout benches and scorer's box looked a little rickety. There's a large and busy community center and a puffy dome for indoor tennis.
But ... you know, I just couldn't shake the feeling that this park must be chock full of history, being between TSU and Swett's, right off of Jefferson. If it's not the first, it's one of the first parks in the South set aside for black people (the Hadley Park library was the library black people had to use during segregation). And yes, sure, there's a historical marker that tells you about the park. But I just felt like there must be more. I really wanted there to be signs and pictures and maps, like they have in Centennial Park — things that make the history of the place palpable.
Anyway, I don't think Hadley Park is particularly dangerous, even with the shooting. Those guys were in cars. They could have been shooting each other anywhere. And, of course, now that there's been a shooting there, it's probably one of the safest spots in the city. You know the police are watching the park like hawks. We have to find a way to make our city safer, instead of just writing off parts of town as unsafe.
So head to the park and enjoy. Just keep an eye out for assholes with guns.