The inscribed brick pavers at Buckland Park in Brighton

The inscribed brick pavers at Buckland Park in Brighton

Photos: David Kramer, April 12th, 14th and 16th, 2020

Talker has been to Buckland Park in Brighton on various occasions. We’ve been to snowy Veterans Day observances,

watched pop warner football,

Fans making a “bridge” for the players after the game. Buckland Park, 9/4/16 From New Team in Town: Roc City Steelers debut at Buckland Park and Encore for the Roc City Steelers at Buckland Park

umpired at little league ball fields,

The Brighton Baseball little league fields, 2017 From Umpire added to Game at the Corners. Players subtracted

hobnobbed with political candidates at the summer sunset serenades at the pavillion,

(left) With Cheryl DiNolfo at Buckland Park, summer 2015 from Ghosts MIGHT walk the beautiful Brickyard Trail in Brighton.; (right) With Melissa Barrett at Buckland Park for reggae with Noble Vibes at the Summer Sunset Serenade in Brighton (July 26th, 2016) from On the electoral road with Melissa Barrett See also Why I voted for Adam Bello and a trip down Talker political memory lane, 2015 – 2019

and several times nearly scared to death by the ghosts who “live” in the old Groos farmhouse.

Winter 2016 From From Abandoned farms in Brighton

The other day I discovered something new to me. In front of the snack shop, restroom and maintenance building beneath the American flag are approximately 700 brick pavers in an area of about 200 square feet. 58 of the pavers are inscribed. The smaller ones are 3 ½ x 8 inches; the larger ones 7 ½ x 7 ½ inches. And there are more. Also new to me were the brick pavers on the path in front of Buckland House.

Fox and owl sculpture in the building grounds

Since the pandemic, the building is shuttered. But on the day I was there, a radio was playing inside the building, the Buckland Garage. I heard Bonnie Raitt’s “Something to Talk About” (1990). I knocked on the locked door but apparently no one was there.

Hear excerpt from “Something to Talk About” emanating from the Buckland Garage (snack shop, restroom and maintenance facilities), 4/14/20. On the morning of 4/16,the radio, 104.4FM, was still playing. I heard Todd Rundgren’s “Hello, It’s Me” (1972). At 5:07 p.m. it was snowing and the radio still audible.

On 5/29, I noticed the garage was open and I saw the no longer ghostly radio, I told the maintenance man about my eerie musical experience when the garage was shuttered. He said one of the guys must have left the radio on. We both were glad the park was reopening, and the music was now enjoyed by actual people.

To learn more about the pavers I turned to Sandra Frankel, Brighton Town Supervisor when Buckland Park was dedicated in 2005.

From the dedication sign post at the entrance to Buckland Park

Sandra offered an overview of Buckland Park and an explanation of the brick pavers and their relation to the acquisition and development of the park:

During my 20 years as Supervisor of Brighton, we created a town-wide park system of parks and trails on more than 500 acres for active and passive recreation and to protect sensitive environmental features.  The dream became reality through the hard work of so many people who invested time, talent and treasure in our community’s quality of life. Buckland Park, envisioned as our “Central Park” (borrowing the name of Olmsted’s famed Central Park in New York City) focused on active recreation: playing fields for youth sports, a lodge and pavilion, tennis and basketball courts, and a playground for young children, and a trail. The Brighton Veterans Memorial within the park, championed by former Brighton Town Councilman Jim Vogel, is a beautiful, peaceful place for remembrance and contemplation.  The stainless-steel American Eagle created by sculptor Mary Taylor tops the monument of boulders.  Along Westfall Road at the edge of the park sits the restored historic Buckland House that depicts early life in the town. Brick making was an early industry in Brighton, and those bricks were used in the construction of the house.

In keeping with “The Bricks of Brighton” theme, brick pavers were sold to help fund the project and in recognition of the importance of land preservation and protection of historic structures in Brighton.

September 2015, Sandra Frankel in front of the stainless steel American Bald Eagle statue at the Brighton Veterans Memorial in Buckland Park. From On a stainless steel American Bald Eagle in Buckland Park and endorsing Sandra Frankel

Along with seeing her at the Veterans Memorial, you’ve met Sandra at the Brighton Town Hall, the Sandra L. Frankel Nature Park , the Memorial Art Gallery and the Brickstone Wintergarden.

I focus on 5 bricks with connections to Talker.

You’ve met Brighton Town Judge Karen “Proud Brightonian” Morris on numerous occasions (pictured at top is her Buckland Park brick; below is her brick at Monroe Community College).

(top) brick donated by Karen Morris on the Remembrance Walk ay Monroe Community College; (bottom) MCC faculty member and Brighton Town Judge Karen Morris. 9/11/19 From “Motivated by the Audacity:” Remembering 9/11 at Monroe Community College

Along with seeing her at the 9/11 ceremony last year, you’ve met Karen at the Memorial Art Gallery, Washington Square Park. in front of the Brighton Town Hall, outside the Brighton Memorial Library and at the Pride Parade.

In Why did the Faith Temple in Brighton give away free stuff?, you saw the annual Faith Temple’s BIG GIVE (2016) in the open field on Winton next to Buckland Park.

In Iconic America at the Brighton Little League Parade, you saw Larry Davis Sr. cooking up a storm outside the Twelve Corners Middle School.

Larry Davis Sr. at the grill. He and his son Larry Davis Jr. have been active in Brighton baseball for about half a century. This year this Davis was the recipient of The Phil Feldman Award for distinguished service. Larry says to make his job easier he only offers one flavor of hot dog: red. From Iconic America at the Brighton Little League Parade

In Brighton fans celebrate hometown hero Ernie Clement in victory, you saw softball players at the Otter Lodge in Brighton wearing scarlet red Tuthill Lighting uniforms after a game at Cobbs Hill, cheering hometown Ernie Clement playing in the College World Series.

In addition to his brick, “Grandpa Ken’s” chair sits in the now unused varsity baseball field in Buckland Park.

As described on the Brighton Little League website:

Ken was father to Robin (and Steve) Rauh, and grandfather to Ali and Andy Rauh whose softball and baseball involvement spanned the entire spectrum of Brighton’s Little League and scholastic programs.  Steve was a long time Brighton Little League coach, league president and commissioner and Robin volunteered for Brighton Baseball throughout the time her family was involved.

Ken Verstraete at Cooperstown (Brighton Little League)

Ken actually never missed one of Ali’s games, and only missed a few of Andy’s due to hospitalization.  He kept such a good “book” score-keeping for Andy’s teams that he was invited to be scorebook keeper by high school coach Jason Wasserman.  His love of youth baseball in Brighton continued for many years after his grandchildren left for college as evidenced by his continuation as scorekeeper for the 16-18 year old boys teams.  Ken was known as “Grandpa” even by those who played in the years after his family was involved. Ken worked 12 straight Brighton Little League Opening Day festivities.

Given that Ken was invited to be scorebook keeper by high school coach Jason Wasserman, Ken may have kept the book for Ernie Clement’s first game, batting ninth,  freshman at Brighton High School. (provided by Jason Wasserman) From The Jewish Sports Hall of Fame at the Jewish Community Center in Brighton

Ken loved his family and loved contributing to activities that made them happy.  Ken’s contributions to Brighton Little League are cherished.

On the day I was at Buckland, the baseball fields were empty, although I met the McQuaid baseball coach and two varsity players practicing in the batting cages. Nonetheless, cricket players were preparing for a season that will hopefully begin in May in Genesee Valley Park.

Cricket players practicing social distancing. The third player was wearing a face mask.

After perusing the brick pavers beneath the flag, I found more at the path in The Gardens At The Buckland House.  As Sandra told me, the Brighton Rotary partnered with the Town on the restoration of the Buckland House, and did interior work such as painting.  The Allyn’s Creek Garden Club also partnered with the Town and did the exterior landscaping plan and planting. Brighton Town Supervisor William Moehle adds that the State of New York was also a joint partner in the restoration project.  The town is working on plans for more activities at Buckland House, but those plans have been delayed by COVID-19.

Top right after a light April snowfall

The path and pavers probably deserve a separate article. But here they are, focusing on five with connections to Talker.

As seen in Honoring Mary Jo Lanphear, Brighton Town Historian since 1986, on January 12th, 2020, Historic Brighton honored Town of Brighton Historian Mary Jo Lanphear with the Leo Dodd Heritage Preservation Award.

ABOVE Leo Dodd’s brick pavers on the Buckland Park path BELOW (left) the Leo Dodd Heritage Preservation Award 2020, painting of Cobb’s Inn by Leo Dodd; (right) View from the former property of Gideon Cobb looking at the former site of Cobb’s Inn, corner of Monroe and Highland Avenues, Brighton/Rochester [Photos: David Kramer, 1/29/20] From Honoring Mary Jo Lanphear, Brighton Town Historian since 1986

In a past life before becoming Brighton Town Supervisor, Bill Moehle was the Brighton Rotary President.

You’ve met Bill on many occasions, most recently at the Historic Brighton Annual Meeting and Award Ceremony and also all over town lying down on job.

As seen in In grand fashion, Brighton celebrates its volleyball champions and the first Boys state team sports title in school history, in 2015 the BHS volleyball team brought home the state title.

As seen in A personal tour of the URMC during Meliora Weekend with Dr. Ruth Lawrence, URMS ’49. And still on the active faculty and true today, Dr. Ruth Lawrence is still on the active faculty.

SEE ALSO

Site says Brighton is best place to live in New York

About The Author

dkramer3@naz.edu

Welcome to Talker of the Town! My name is David Kramer. I have a Ph.D in English and teach at Keuka College. I am a former and still active Fellow at the Nazareth College Center for Public History. Over the years, I have taught at Monroe Community College, the Rochester Institute of Technology and St. John Fisher College. I have published numerous Guest Essays, Letters, Book Reviews and Opinion pieces in The New York Times, Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, the Buffalo News, the Rochester Patriot, the Providence Journal, the Providence Business News, the Brown Alumni Magazine, the New London Day, the Boston Herald, the Messenger Post Newspapers, the Wedge, the Empty Closet, and the CITY.  My poetry appears in The Criterion: An International Journal in English and Rundenalia and my academic writing in War, Literature and the Arts and Twentieth Century Literary Criticism. Starting in February 2013, I wrote for three Democratic and Chronicle  blogs, "Make City Schools Better," "Unite Rochester," and the "Editorial Board." When my tenure at the D & C  ended, I wanted to continue conversations first begun there. And start new ones.  So we created this new space, Talker of the Town, where all are are invited to join. I don’t like to say these posts are “mine.” Very few of them are the sole product of my sometimes overheated imagination. Instead, I call them partnerships and collaborations. Or as they say in education, “peer group work.” Talker of the Town might better be Talkers of the Town. The blog won’t thrive without your leads, text, pictures, ideas, facebook shares, tweets, comments and criticisms.

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