It was after I'd given my presentation on my great-grandfather, G. Oliver Riggs (insert huge sigh of relief here), and had handed the microphone to my dad, William.
|Here I am explaining G. Oliver's history with Barden Park (originally called Central Park) and the St. Cloud Municipal Band.|
|My dad, William, with his sister Dana and brother Bob.|
I was so caught up in the moment, in fact, that it didn't occur to me until later that I should have taken a picture of him, playing the same Conn horn that G. Oliver gave to him when he was a kid, and that my dad played for many years before switching to trumpet. Thankfully, my cousin Kristina videotaped the entire presentation, so our great-granddaughters and other descendants can one day can enjoy it, too.
Dad said afterward, self-deprecatingly, that G. Oliver would have advised him to "woodshed" the piece, meaning, to practice it more, but I think he nailed it with sincerity and grace.
After the presentation, the 20 Riggs family members in attendance enjoyed the band music, each other's company and the refreshing root beer and orange floats served at the concert. And in a nod to the tradition (no longer observed) of honking car horns after each song, my aunt Dana and uncle Bob set off the panic buttons on their car alarms, letting the horns honk for a minute, before we departed the park with fond new memories.
The city may call it Barden Park, but I don't believe it. It will always be Riggs Park to me.
|We had a great showing of 20 family members – spanning three generations – at the concert Thursday evening.|
|G. Oliver with four great-great granddaughters.|
|Seb samples the orange float.|
|G. Oliver with four great-great grandsons.|
|A crowd of about 200 people showed up for the band concert.|
|The Barden Park Committee has restored the grounds and the granite bandstand.|