Friday, 21 September 2012

Ching Park

When I wasn't stealing cassettes like LL Cool J and Public Enemy, and I wasn't being a mall rat, I'd usually be hanging out at Sanjai's watching Benny Hill, or we'd be at my place watching The Little Rascals, or one of our favorite movies like Revenge of the Nerds, Weird Science, Krush Groove, or Aliens. This seemed to be our morning ritual on the days I wasn't working. 

Other than that the only place you might have found us was Chinguacousy park. Ching Park was close to the City Centre and it was full of things to do. My neighbour of 10 years Joanne, worked at the snack bar, so she would hook us up with free munchies, popsicles, and tickets for complimentary rounds of mini golf. We could easily kill a few hours putting balls through the small, but enjoyable course. Ching park also had a nice barn where you could pet the animals, as well as a man made ski hill that was formed from a landfill of garbage. Every summer the park held the "Nitty Gritty" a kick ass fair with rides and all kinds of games where you could win cool stuff like mirrors with rock band logos on them. The park even had an outdoor band shelter, where I'd sometimes find myself standing on the stage fantasizing about performing music for a rabid, cheering audience. That dream would come true many years later.

Band shelter from behind & the pond
 In behind the band shelter was a dock and a small pond with paddle boats, that same pond is the first place my father ever took me fishing when I was five years old. We caught lots of sunfish and catfish. Who knew back then that I'd be tripping balls there years later. Above everything else at the park there was one thing we cherished the most...a large concrete structure for small children. It was a water slide that went down into a kiddie pool. You may be asking yourselves why teenage boys would cherish something for toddlers and small kids, and the answer is quite simple. Around noon time the city workers at the park wound drain the kiddie pool thus ending the days fun for the little ones. We would sit around on our skateboards waiting for the sun to dry up what we referred to as the "Ching bowl"

the greenhouse was a great area to skate.

On a hot summers day the bowl would dry up pretty quickly and we would commence the shredding. We'd have the ghetto blaster blaring metal as we all did our thing. There was always a picnic table near by that we would pull up to the edge of the bowl, giving us something inspiring to try and trick off of. Most people either went down the slide and tried to pull tricks and airs out of the bowl, or they rode the bowl from side to side like a half pipe. Asides from the bowl, the park had alot of other great areas to skate. There were no skateparks around back in those days and I'm thankful we were lucky enough to have Ching Park around in a time when skating in public places wasn't an issue or considered a crime. It's nice to see in this day & age Ching Park still caters to skaters, as they now have an actual skateboard park on site.

the infamous Ching Hill

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