Some Blasts from the Past!

Nip and Tuck are back! Although I didn’t know they had names way back when, the two concrete porpoises that once graced the former Landmark Mall in downtown Decatur have been restored. They had been out of public view for decades, apparently stored behind a park district shed, after being removed from downtown.

The sculptures are as old as me, having been installed downtown in 1970. They were removed in the late 1980s. They sat outside K’s Merchandise. Boy, I miss K’s Merchandise and those old buildings.

Nip and Tuck, needed some nipping and tucking of their own, after being left in the elements for so long, (read a 2018 article about them here) but they have been restored and now will be on display at Decatur’s Scovill Zoo for children to enjoy. I have a feeling, though, that it will be the adults who will be most happy to see them. Be prepared for a lot of Instagram and Facebook selfies with Nip and Tuck this summer from your Gen X Decatur friends!

It’s so refreshing to see them brought back to life, instead of watching something else beloved in the city fall victim to Decatur’s recent runaway wrecking balls. I have a feeling, that anyone over the age of 50 has developed a complex in Decatur, from all that we’ve lost.

Something else you’ll see at Scovill Zoo in 2024 is a new mountain lion exhibit. It is projected to be completed in August of 2024.

It’s also great news that an expanded senior center is going to be constructed at the former Scovill Golf Course on West Main. It’ll be a one-stop shop for seniors to utilize a variety of programs and enjoy recreational opportunities.

Previously announced, the old golf cart paths are also being repaved. I’ve attempted riding a bike on them, and while most are in decent shape, some needed repair. Hopefully, the old bridges will be upgraded as well. They’re a little sketchy for bicycles. Eventually, it’s hoped that the old course will connect with the nearby bike path. The old golf course is beautiful, and I’m happy to see it being utilized and managed well.

Skating in Fairview Park

Another blast from the past is coming to Fairview Park for the first two weekends in February. For years, the big pavilion in the park housed an ice skating rink. It was a popular hangout for teens in the winter for many years. I personally don’t remember it as an ice skating rink, so it must have closed before the 1980s.

Ice skating isn’t returning, but roller skating under the big pavilion will offer much of the same experience: Broken hips, elbows, etc., if people my age attempt it. I wonder how many kids even know how to roller skate today? Decatur hasn’t had a roller skating rink in quite a while. I sure was never very good at it. I distinctly remember slamming into the emergency exit at Great Skate North and nearly falling out of the building. That’s how graceful I am, so you won’t see me on skates!

You can bring your own skates or rent at the park. Maybe if it draws enough interest, it will a returning event.

I know there’s a lot of complaining in Decatur, but I’m impressed with our park district. It’s the best thing about the city. It’s all about quality of life. The parks, zoo, lakefront, the Devon Amphitheater, miniature golf courses, the waterpark, the DISC, and programs for kids and seniors bring so many good things to the city.

If you’d like to get involved with the park district, consider volunteering. There are many opportunities for nearly all ages.