This last Saturday was the opening/dedication of a brand new little park nearby, called Seaside Heroes Park. I'd heard (mostly read, in the local paper) they were going to build it, in a smallish space that had been a vacant lot through all my memory: an unused right-of-way/drainage ditch that follows the line of Lomita Boulevard west a block-plus after Lomita ends at Anza Avenue. The park occupies the space there between Anza and the next street over. Since the only place we needed to go this morning was Trader Joe's, Una and I had a little time to drop by and check it out.
I was specially curious because of who the park is named for: three locals killed in Afghanistan and Iraq in 2006-2007. I knew one of them, Matthew Ferrara, not as well as my father and brother did, whose Boy Scout troop he was in, but I knew him (and wrote about him and his family and his funeral here). An older lady walking her little dog arrived the same time we did, and we both paused to read the tiled wall. She noted that her son had gone to school with Joe Anzack Sr, the father of one of the other honorees. I noted my connection to Matt Ferrara.
It is a remarkably wonderful little park. I was pleased by the design of a curving pavingstone path between the two entrances, flanked by curving swaths of lawn and one small rubber-padded play area with a few things to climb on, up, and under, suitable for kids as young as Una (with a bit of handholding).
She seemed to approve too; she liked climbing and running around, and didn't want to leave.
I am glad they built it. I am sorry the reasons for the dedication exist. But it is a place with a good cozy feeling to it. We will be back again.