Letter to the Editor

Letters to the editor

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Open letter to parks board

Dear editor:

Apparently my March 31 newspaper column about the names (and misnomers) of Nevada's parks was to no purpose.

Among other things, I tried to point out that since the city shortened the name Izaak Walton Park to "Walton Park" the average person fancies it's named after Sam Walton. (A friend of mine, too intelligent for that blunder, tends to call it "Walden Pond" after Thoreau's sometime home.)

If a plaque is put up, as the newspaper tells us is the plan, pretentiously calling the swimming pool the "Walton Family Aquatic Center," the ignorant will be even more convinced it commemorates the "Sam Walton Family!"

Franklin Norman says he left the parks board (for personal reasons) believing it had been agreed to restore the original name, Izaak Walton Park.

This is the only reasonable course, having any decent respect for the history of the place. It was conceived as a fishing club, and was one for most of its existence; it's still a fishing lake, among other things; and surely the name of the most famous fisherman in Anglo-American history is more deserving of being commemorated than Sam, or some anonymous Walton. My name was placed on the plaque in the new library/museum, much against my wishes. Why members of public boards are so eager to have their own names engraved in bronze is more than I can understand. In a few years, nobody will recognize the names anyway, or recall the people. But the world will still know who Izaak Walton was.

Patrick Brophy