Directly across from the fertilizer plant that blew up on April 17, 2013, just over the railroad tracks that cut through town, was West City Park. A playground, some picnic tables, a small football field, and a basketball court. Nothing fancy. And nothing much was left after the explosion.
Spurred on by the young son of Joey Pustejovsky, one of the volunteer firemen killed in the explosion, the park was rebuilt (after more than $200,000 was raised) and named for the now 7-year-old Parker. Parker’s Park was officially dedicated on the 2-year anniversary of the explosion.
And now, the Dallas Mavericks — who jumped to support the town in the aftermath of the tragedy, hosting a camp in West a couple of months later — will put on the finishing touches to the park. A new basketball court will be unveiled on Saturday morning, in a ceremony hosted by the team’s play-by-play announcer Mark Followill. The full rundown is here.
Even if I hadn’t grown up in West, playing basketball at that park, I would be impressed by the Mavericks, still doing what they can for the town even as the tragedy has mostly receded from people’s minds. But it’s no surprise. The organization and Mark Cuban are very good at this sort of thing.