Daily Progress, Jacksonville, TX

Local News

October 22, 2013

'Pocket Park:' Rusk widow offers tribute to late husband with a dedicated, focused park

RUSK — Magnificent greenery. A place to sit down. A children's playground. Crepe myrtles. Rose bushes.

Perhaps even a memorial for the late Dr. Charles Grady "Charlie" Plyler, who passed away at age 77 on March 16, 2010.

Under the direction of Dr. Plyler's widow, motivated Cherokee County resident Jeannie Plyler, it seems inevitable  her dream of a beautiful "pocket park" right here in town  will soon be realized.

Like most parks it will be open space for the public's recreational use. But the area will be much smaller. Like a miniaturized version of your standard neighborhood park.

Otherwise known as a mini-park or even a "parkette," this abbreviated space  is too small for football scrimmages or baseball games.

But it is the perfect size for an area that offers a  magnificent, almost zen-like and outdoorsy peace for anyone and everyone to enjoy, according to Mrs. Plyler.

It will be located by the Whistle Stop general gift store at 150 East Fifth Street — directly in front of Etech Inc., 173 S. Henderson Street. It will be near the south side of the courthouse, according to Rusk City Secretary Cinda Ethridge.

Mrs. Plyler — both a "Keep Rusk Beautiful" project manager and a member of the Cherokee County Master Gardeners  — said she began work on this "Plyler Memorial Park" Oct. 8.

Ethridge said Monday that  Mrs. Plyler has already approached the city and received all necessary permissions to proceed with her dream project.

"It's a privately-owned park and she will supply the cleanup and everything — but she has talked to management about it," the city secretary said.  

For Mrs. Plyler, she is creating the perfect spot of reflection to remember her wonderful life with her husband.

"I hope you will all stop by to watch the progress son this amazing project over the next few weeks," she said in an announcement to area residents.  

A well-known local artist also has been commissioned for the project.  Judy Seamands of Jacksonville's Wall Work By Judy, will create a mural on the outer wall of the Whistle Stop store. It will consist of the image of a little white country church representing faith in God.

Seamands could not immediately be located to comment on the project Monday.

However, her mural is expected to contain the image of a small lake representing baptism and eternal life and a huge oak tree with a tire swing — demonstrating faith in the children of the future.

Mrs. Plyler said the park also will have concrete tables with benches, a large fountain in the center and benches at all four corners.

There are many places where pocket parks can be located, records show: Urban areas. Rural areas. On private or public land.  (Private, in this case.)

Some experts believe pocket parks can be the sole available option to create free public spaces without a city council having to enter into a costly development project.

Anyone with questions or wanting to make contact to contribute to the memory of a loved one can contact Jeannie Plyler at (903) 683-1416 or Connie Parsons at the Chamber of Commerce (903) 683-4242.


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