By Evelyn Long - Contributing Columnist

Every year about this time my memories bounce back to when I was younger and looked forward with my sisters and friends to the free movie that was to be shown in the park. The park was the center of much of the summer activities because there was the huge old concrete bandstand where bands had played since the early part of the century. That includes our high school band.

But Wednesday nights were special – that was “free movie” night and the screen would be stretched between trees for our viewing. The earlier one arrived the better seat or bench one got. Many of the older people arrived early to take a parking spot (diagonal) for good viewing.

Just this week I was watching an Andy Griffith rerun and this episode paralleled one I saw in the park years ago – and it stuck with me. One scene was of a picture on the wall, a man who had enlarged eyes. But then they moved! Just like the Andy Griffith episode- Andy and his co- players moved just as I would- out the door.

That stuck with me.

I also remember the sound and picture being cut when the fast moving passenger train passed through – I can still see the passengers seated in the train with the lights on.

Popcorn was always available and other times there were drawings in the park, some for groceries and even for a new car.

The park was always the focus point of the village- remember the ox roasts sponsored by American Legion Post 97. We are fortunate to have our park with modern restroom and a shelter house for all kinds of events.

This weekend, once again, the park was the center of the Cardington Street Fair.

I salute our village officials and others who have maintained our park.

Looking back: June, 1962: Nearly 100 youngsters took swimming lessons at the Lutheran Memorial Camp at Fulton. A good producing oil well was brought in on the Eva Potts farm in Cardington Township.

June, 1982: Construction began on the village square apartments on the site of the former hotel; June 1992: Cardington had seen seven new business buildings erected in recent years. The Union Store in Mount Gilead advertised new sports coats for Father Day for $49.50

By Evelyn Long

Contributing Columnist