Thank You Card

One New Plank

I dove down the stone steps just above Superior Street. Immediately, I noticed that the footbridge was back to square, level, and plumb. It was knocked sideways by the floods in 2012 and had been sitting crooked since then. Now it was healthy again. Then I ran some more and there was a new culvert. An improved access to some steps. A single solitary board that was missing was fixed. The railing that the raging waters tore loose was fixed. A few stone steps were mortared back together. The little trail by Tischer Creek was all spruced up after the 100-year flood four years ago.

Square, Level, and Plumb

Square, Level, and Plumb

Well, that’s just great, I thought. I’m going to thank somebody.

New Culvert

New Culvert

Then we had our big rain and wind event. There are bigger fish to fry. But I went out to take pictures of the repaired trail anyway. Maybe I could see what new damage was done.

Stone Steps Salvaged

Stone Steps Salvaged

The trail’s fine. As a matter of fact, dozens of trees that were downed in the recent weather were already sawed up and moved. The storm was Thursday morning. I went running on Saturday. The trail all the way up and down both sides of Tischer Creek was passable. Amazing turnaround time.

One of dozens already cleared.

One of dozens already cleared.

As a matter of fact, when I ran downhill on the west side of Tischer Creek above 4th Street (the footpath, not the paved path), it was the first time I set foot on that section in 4 years. It was an eroded trench that I skipped on my little loop. I gather it was filled with gravel and repaired the same time as the other stuff down below, but I don’t know for sure. I guess I’m just pleasantly surprised since I didn’t think any of that old flood damage would ever be repaired. I understand priorities. Most people don’t give two shits about whether Shmo’s little neighborhood trail is all better. Nor should they.

Trench is a trail again.

Trench is a trail again.

But that’s actually the point: Somebody somewhere does give a crap. I would like to know who precisely that is. It’s probably the Parks Department of the City of Duluth. If you know that to be true, make sure they see this please. Or if it was a group of volunteers. Or both. Thanks.

Railing back up.

Railing back up.

I’m not a child. People got killed up north in that storm. I was without power when I went on my little photo expedition. I had a generator running so we could preserve our food. There are still people without power. I suppose I could add a little commentary about man’s inhumanity to man with trucks and car bombs and guns. But that’s a given, I guess.

So, yes, I’m glad that a little footpath in Duluth is repaired. (Both before and after the recent storm.) I’m also glad my family is safe. I’m also glad that my beer is cold again, thanks to linemen who know what they’re doing. I’m glad that I can take some fallen branches out to the curb for pickup. I’m glad that my neighbors didn’t lose their ever-loving minds just because the lights were out. I’m glad that when some graffiti goes up, it gets painted over. And when the graffiti goes up again, that it gets painted over again. All of these things mean that somebody gives a crap.

I’m grateful that I live in a town where people give a crap. When it’s big. When it’s small. Either way.

I’m not sure where to send my thanks, but I’m pretty sure the address belongs to people within ten miles of me. So thanks.

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About Eric Chandler

Husband. Father. Pilot. Cross Country Skier. Writer. Author of Outside Duluth and Down In It.
This entry was posted in Sports, Writing and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Thank You Card

  1. Pingback: Shmo’s 2016 Writing Review | SHMOTOWN

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