The Daily Southerner, Tarboro, NC

Homepage

October 23, 2013

Clark Park lights rumor quashed

TARBORO — During Monday night's Tarboro Town Council meeting, electric department director Buddy Harrison quashed the long-standing rumor that Tarboro officials removed lights from the Clark Park ball field and placed them on the high school football field more than a decade ago.

Harrison, who was either a crew chief or repairman during that time, said the lights were removed because the old wooden poles were in "bad shape" and the lights were not up to standards for softball and baseball games.

"We took them down, but we did not put any new lights up," Harrison said during a telephone interview. "It's just a rumor. That just didn't happen."

Councilman Rick Page was the electric department director during that era and said during a telephone interview that it would cost the town over $100,000 to replace the lights and poles. At that time, a decision was made not to replace the lights because the fields were not utilized."

The two fields at Clark Park were used heavily in the 1980's and mid-1990's when the town's recreation department operated very popular Open League, Church League and Industrial League softball programs for men and women. Perhaps the most notable league was the industrial. Black & Decker, Dixie Yarn, Ansell Edmont, and Masonite were some of the industries that fielded competitive teams that drew crowds. One by one, those industries closed their doors for various reason. The closings weakened Tarboro's  economy as well as shut down the softball leagues.

"Back then, softball was thriving in Tarboro," said Jarvis Pettaway, the former director for Tarboro Parks and Recreation Department. We had games at Clark Park at least two times a week.

"When the plants started closing, we lost players. Without players, the league could not survive."

Another factor in the park not being utilized is perhaps the million dollar complex (Indian Lake) that was completed in 2000. The state-of-the-art facility has one baseball field, four softball fields and a soccer field. Some of the sporting events were moved there. The town also uses two fields at Sunset Park.

"There was not too much of a need for Clark Park softball fields after the complex was built," Pettaway said. "During Clark Park's heyday, it was one of the most utilized parks in the town," Pettaway recalled. "On the weekend, traveling community teams used to play out there. After some of the games, a DJ would play music. It was thriving back in the day."

The question concerning the lights was raised by Councilwoman Deborah Jordan. Jordan is one of several citizens who have voiced their opinion concerning the usage of Clark Park and M.A. Ray Center. The two units are located together. At least one community group forum has been held to discuss methods of getting more people to use the sporting areas.

"We're working on plans to attract more people at Clark Park," saidTarboro Parks and Recreation Director Cheryl Gay. "There are some good things around the corner."

1
Text Only
Homepage
Johnson funeral1.jpg

Tarboro Police department Lt. Bill Braswell hands an American Flag to Patrolman Charles Johnson’s widow, Tracy Johnson, while the couple children Travis and Dustin looks on Friday during interment service at Edgecombe Memorial Park. Johnson was off duty when he was killed in a vehicle accident Tuesday.

Local News
Our Community
Sports
Joe Miller.jpg

Tarboro Vikings first baseman Joe Miller drives in the go ahead run for the Vikings in the sixth inning. Miller was 1 for 3 with a RBI as the Vikings defeated the South Creek Panthers 4-2.

  • Vikings make late comeback

    The Tarboro Vikings bats took a nap for the first five innings Thursday against the South Creek Cougars in Two Rivers Conference action until the sixth inning alarm clock woke seniors Wesley Hart and Joe Miller.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Harrell returning to Louisville
Opinion
  • The legacy of Joe W. Dickens Jr.'s dash

    Joe W. Dickens Jr.
    Sept. 14, 1953 - March 21, 2014
    The above statement is profound in its own way. It signifies the birth and the death of one of the most influential men in Edgecombe Coun

    March 31, 2014

Lifestyles
  • Bones-final-cover.jpg Local librarian pens first novel

    Roman Leary, director at Edgecombe County Memorial Library, has written his first novel – “Six Days of the Dragon.”

    March 19, 2014 2 Photos

Obituaries Archives
Events
  • EDGECOMBE EVENTS

    Edgecombe Events must be submitted by noon the day before publication. Items eligible include notices of local meetings and activities of non-profit organizations, clubs, schools and civic groups in the community. Information should be brief and typewritten, neatly printed or via  e-mail. For questions call 252-823-3106 or
    e-mail: events@dailysoutherner.com.

    April 21, 2014