Walk in park fine way to start day

Published 1:59 pm Tuesday, August 30, 2011

From left, Willie Goldsmith and Butch Lilly begin their morning walk in Orr Park. (Contributed)

By CATHERINE LEGG / Community Columnist

A walk in Orr Park is a fine way to start the day. The air is crisp, and the folks are friendly. There are many of the same walkers every day, and they may be a little sleepy-eyed, but they are there; moving along quietly and quickly to the rhythm of their Skechers.

Taft Farrington and Thomas Wynn are among the earliest, and they walk together every day. Willie Goldsmith joins them for a while, and then he goes on for a couple of miles, readying himself for a busy day of city council affairs and volunteer work.

Cheryl Stephanie Young is there, too. “I walk to keep in shape,” she said, “and I walk here because it’s so beautiful and so safe.”

Then there’s usually a big group: Gay McAnally, Lisa Thomas, Jan McKinnon and Nan Duran. They may be walking for the exercise, but one could easily believe they just enjoy being together.

The prize for sheer determination should go to Essie Brownlee. She has had knee surgery and the walking is not easy, but she’s there every morning, going slowly perhaps, but she’s walking. George Russell, who lives across the street from the park, is another dedicated fellow. He walks the small circle, and then sits on a bench and enjoys watching all of the park activity.

It’s fun to watch Mary Fulgham, from Brierfield, as she runs up and down the baseball bleachers, and it’s nice to stop to chat with Keith Reynolds, who walks around with his morning cup of coffee.

By the time Norman McMillan gets to the park, he has already walked the circle in Arden Subdivision with his friend, 90-year-old Hosein Ebrahimi.

The Rev. Albert Jones is out early, and so is Bud Galloway, who rides a beautiful motorcycle to the park and then steps briskly around the large circle several times.

Carolyn and John Kirby may just run through the park on their long course through town. Carolyn practices what she preaches; “exercise, exercise, exercise.”

“Butch” Lilly is another you may see marching along at a fast pace anywhere in town or in the park. He walks every day.

Billy Lee, Mary Hall, Dureen Herron, Don and Jenny Clayton, Joanne Cunningham, Sue Wilkinson and her little dog, “Buttons,” are among the others taking an early morning walk; as are Gene Lightfoot, Bud Galloway, Carol White, Willie Mae and Frederick Moore and Dora Valentine, building healthy bodies as they enjoy the fresh air.

All of Montevallo’s energetic pacesetters may not be in Orr Park.Many are walking in their own neighborhoods or on other trails, but all are certainly healthier and happier for crawling out of bed and striding forward to greet the day.

Catherine Legg can be reached at clegg2@bellsouth.net.