Reflection Walk #48 –On a very warm Saturday morning, June 13, Walkers started at 7:30 am at Malloch Elementary School, in a neighborhood on Forkner just south of Bullard. Walkers said they had never seen this school before. We met John, the plant manager at Malloch Elementary, who was there early to organize summer soccer sign-ups. He volunteers to manage youth soccer teams. He said that many people say they don’t know where this school is until they come to it for the first time. It’s “tucked in.”
This walk started through wide streets with deep front yards and large homes. Next to Malloch was a tall ivy-covered wall, and Walkers could hear flowing water, which we guessed was a water feature for a pool. The mature landscaping provided some shade for walking, but most shade was deep into the properties, making the wide streets hot. Within a block, we were on Van Ness Avenue, on its winding walking path. Cyclists and dog walkers were out early, like us, trying to beat the heat. Walkers stood in front of a long driveway looking through security gates into a beautifully landscaped mansion. Next door was an enormous house under construction.
Winding into neighborhood avenues from Van Ness, Walkers commented on the variety of homes, unique front doors and gates, and thoughtfully landscaped front walkways. Walkers took great interest in signs, statues, and other unique sights… A doll sat on top of a child’s swing set. A statue of Jesus was surrounded by a grouping of ceramic turtles. A tribute to dogs stood on a large rolling stand. A helmet that said, “Jesus loves bikers” was for sale in a front yard. American flags were prominently displayed on many homes. Sidewalk chalk art of life-size people filled a sidewalk near a house. A yellow brick road was painted on a sidewalk in front of a house with a 3-foot tin man standing just inside the gate…
Crossing west of Marks, the homes got smaller, but the neighborhood was well kept. We saw vehicles for business and work trucks. Lawns got browner, and roofs a bit older. A house at Dovewood and Benedict kept Walkers’ attention for 10 minutes! The sidewalk has been painted like a yellow brick road. On the inside of the picket fence were birdcages of doves and many other bird types. The sounds of cooing doves filled the air. Fountains, signage, statuary, quaint benches, walkways covered every inch of the shaded, forest-like front yard. Walkers talked about this fun surprise that could be a field trip all to its own. Walkers wanted to return there and meet the owner.
Walkers met Susan who was walking her two dogs. One dog, Marina, only had three legs and Susan told us she adopted her that way. Susan told us that both dogs loved to chase squirrels at nearby Logan Park.
Winding west, Walkers saw Logan Park that bumps into the railroad tracks. Large browning sports fields with child’s playground, tennis courts (or pickle ball), bathrooms, and drinking fountain. Walkers met Jess from the City of Fresno Parks and Rec dept. Jess was there to meet park clean-up volunteers. Only one person, KJ, showed up. Jess told us that this park was well maintained because a clean-up group has already adopted this park. Jess told us he was leaving here to go help set up at Woodward park for an event today.
Walkers strolled through streets that bumped up against the railroad tracks. The backyards had a large block wall separating the yard from the train tracks. On this street, cars parked in the driveways, and on the front lawns were older models of cars, some in disrepair. At the end of the street, Walkers walked onto the tracks and saw piles of trash, a mattress, and broken household items. The mattress had a white sheet crumpled at the end. A broken stroller was a few feet from the tracks and Walkers guessed the stroller may have been hit by a train.
Walkers took a winding sidewalk that was separated from the tracks by a block wall, and they looked up at the tall redwoods that were very brown and dry. We saw a few people working in their front yards, pruning, cleaning. One man was scooted under his car to repair it in the front driveway.
While we did hear birds, doves, and geese, FMWalkers did not hear roosters on this walk. We only saw a few front yard fences, and only had a few dogs bark at us. No loose dogs were seen on this walk. No boarded up houses or burned out houses on this walk. Walkers noticed only two abandoned shopping carts on this walk.
Walkers saw many American flags. This weekend was flag day. We saw and heard many small planes and assumed they were from Sierrra Sky Park.
Walkers talked about the contrasts on this Walk. Within 2 miles, we saw large sprawling mansions and small homes in disrepair along the tracks. We talked about the variety of kids attending Malloch elementary and wondered if the economic diversity was apparent in the demographics of this school.
These are our brothers and sisters in Fresno. All of our lives and futures are tied together
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