I don’t know the historical significance of Wilder Park: Who it’s named after, why it occupies acerage in the center of Elmhurst, Illinois; when it morphed from prairieland to park. But it is uncommon, common ground.
It isn’t devoted to one thing in particular so citizenry can pretty much just use the place. There is a library. There is a greenhouse. There is a museum devoted to shiny rocks. There is an waterless stone grotto that looks premordial. There are tennis courts and there is a skating rink with a warming house. Now that’s a lot of stuff; but there is left plenty of room for play. And that’s what little Elmhurstonians did with it.
I tried out my first pair of ice skates on Wilder Park’s rink and found out if you are a girl trying out ice skates, then a boy will come up to you to hold your hand since it can be constued as helping and bears no connection to dating of any sort.
I was 9 years old when skating became my first foray into social life, that is life not spent in home or church or school. Dennis helped me skate. I hope his life turned out very well because he gave me a present. It’s completely possible to feel happy and new and free at any unexpected moment.