To the Editor:
A slight breeze was blowing a few dried leaves across the deserted sidewalks in Forest Park Monday morning, Aug. 30.
I was driving through one last time before heading out of town. The sky-blue of the band shell stood out among the trees, but then it always is the center of my attention.
The Sunday evening before, summer was in full swing during the band concert, with people applauding loudly for the pieces that seemed special to them. Even the ghosts of audiences' past listened from their handsome commemorative benches.
What a great way to be remembered and what an honor for the BCB to have played for them.
The park has been my favorite place in Brazil since I was old enough to walk. I started wanting to play in the band when I was about 4 or 5. The sound of the cymbals appealed to me, but I really wanted to play the biggest and shiniest horn of all -- the sousaphone.
Now, I see toddlers waving and clapping to the rhythms as parents and grandparents listen and remember.
The recreation facilities, picnic facilities, playground equipment, grounds-keeping, building maintenance, and whatever else I might have left out, do not happen by accident.
It takes hard work, but you know that.
Many of you have done that work, often voluntarily.
You do it not only for yourselves and your families, but also for the people who come in droves to capture some of summer's magic through a dozen or more recreation and leisure activities. Free.
It's what keeps alive the finest park in the world, for a city the size of Brazil.
Even though my band summer is over, the park will go on accommodating hundreds of people until the snow flies, and beyond.
One tiny plea: Love it or lose it. Please continue to support our beautiful park any way you can. It is a legacy we can't afford to neglect.
See you next summer, Sunday nights, 8 p.m.