Chris and I are finding ways to break up the work of getting ready to move. I was so happy that he was home all week to help get things organized. We still have a ways to go to be all buckled down and ready for the move in a couple of weeks but we are way ahead of where I thought we would be at this point which is a relief.
With that being said we have been trying to not over do. We are middle aged after all. The bodies need rest and Aleve at times. So one of our diversions was to grab some take out and go to East Park in Mason City for a picnic.
I had read an article in the local paper, The Globe Gazette, about a musical installation that I wanted to check out. The local Mason City Noon Lions Club purchased and installed this equipment near the Prairie Playground in memory of Henry T. Paine who was a longtime music educator in Mason City. He taught in the Mason City School District from 1943 to 1968 and was active in the Noon Lions Club as well before his move to Wisconsin. He died last year at the age of 95 and the musical instruments are a perfect tribute to a man who obviously had a huge impact on the area.
It took us awhile to track down where they were but once we got our bearings and realized they were close to the popular Prairie Playground we spied them. What a fun addition to this park! I loved being able to make music and can just imagine how these will be used in the future by children and adults alike. Chris and I tried to do a duet but holding a phone to record and playing at the same time did not work out too well. You get the idea.
East Park is also home to the Cannonball 457 –a beautifully restored Minneapolis and St. Louis Railway steam locomotive built in 1912. It has been restored to reflect how it would have looked in the late 1920’s and is the last remaining of its type. A volunteer organization, Friends of the 457, is dedicated to preserving and maintaining the historical piece and is quite active in the community in gathering support and enthusiasm for the 457.
There is a Cannonball Days event yearly that brings in a lot of crowds and train enthusiasts which is a wonderful event. Currently they are continuing fundraising to restore and build up the area around the locomotive that is eroding and my friends at Natural Plus Nursery are doing a spectacular job.
The flowers all around the park were spectacular the day we visited.
The playground is a fun place for families to spend some time and I suspect if my kids had been young when we lived here this would have been a favorite spot.
It is fun to find all of the neat things that our town has to offer. Even if I am moving from here shortly I will still have a fond place in my heart for all of the great things to do and see in Mason City and the area. Thanks for the memories.