Precious uniqueness (19 June)

While the Cross Roads riders completed another near century (93mi, over 1,000m total of climbing), I remained in Wooster to do some hiking and to capture a photo of this arch, which Emil and I had discovered the evening before. First though, to my hike in Wooster Memorial Park. Here some notes from the trail map: Consisting of more than 325 acres, the Park is known for its wooded, steep ravines and scenic Rathburn Run... that bisects the Park. 

Paul Spangler (1900-1986), a Wooster native and high school teacher, long dreamed of the area becoming a park and over a number of years he donated land for this purpose. More parcels of land were bought or donated and the park continues to grow. While getting directions to the Park, I learned some details about Mr Spangler. The man at the hotel reception related enthusiastically, that he was once a high school student of Mr Spangler, adding that the teacher was a former boxer, who having "killed a man in the ring" became a priest and a teacher.

That the citizens of Wooster place great value on the true qualities of life is evident in their non-profit volunteer organization for maintaining the natural charcter of the Park and also for the sentiment behind the arch pictured at the top of the page.
The arch is made up of pictures drawn by various childrens groups of Wayne County. A tile company donated the tiles on which the pictures then appeared. Below are two examples of the childrens' art work.

We had one more unique experience after dinner, this evening. We met a group of Amish gentlemen and asked them about their language, Pensilvania Dutch, mentioning that we spoke Swiss German and wondering if it was similar. And it was! We exchanged a few expressions and found we could understand each other. They told us that their children were taught within the community and did not learn English until they began school. As we were taking our leave, the fellow we were speaking with extended his hand and we exchanged a hearty handshake.


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