Schenectady Grout Park, 30 years ago and beyond, was a well maintained park and was full of activity.
The neighborhood kid's would fill the park back then.
You could play baseball games, swim in the pool, the rec room had board games and ping pong tables...You could check out
footballs - baseball gear - tennis rackets...There was the tether ball and swinging gate. Some of the original equipment is
still there but left in disrepair.
Grout Park, it was a fun place and there were many friends of mine that would frequently visit back then. The times have
changed the kid's today are exposed to a different mindset. They have no clue to the way it once was back in the time when
Schenectady was safe and clean and beautiful and you could make friends everywhere you went.
You tube video producer GMPNY
What a wonderful escape it used to be for me as a child. The great old stone buildings, the lush lawns and the park workers
were always so nice. I remember to get from the pool area to the games you had to walk up stairs or the ramp next to the steps.
Boy how we loved riding our bikes as fast as we could down that ramp LOL Some of us rode directly down the steps for the bumpiest
ride of our lives.
There were plenty of lush bushes throughout the park and when in full bloom we would go "inside" the bushes
that overlapped one another and it was tunnel like and made for great times when hiding on one another. We often brought bag
lunches and a drink with us for the day at the park and we would eat our lunches under those bushes. We also plaid hide and
seek inside the tunnels the bushes seemed to make and they went on forever : )
On the upper side of the park at the Rec Buldg. you could play games on the fields, basketball and tennis. Once in a while
you'd find someone to play checkers or chess with. There was always a list you had to sign up on to be in line to play the
winners of those 2 games.
The park was very clean and there were soda machines down by the "changing room" where the pool was. I remember
after a few years the changing rooms were locked and you had to come to the park with your swim suite already on or change
in the bushes! People began to abuse the privileges the park offered up to the public. I hated to see it start to go down
hill. It was such an oasis for kids who weren't so lucky to have a pool!
Back then a kid could walk to the park and parents had no fear of some slime ball trying to molest or go after their kids.
We went in groups of 4 to 6 kids usually and we all stayed pretty much together and walked back home together. The neighborhood
kids took care of one another. Friendships that would last a lifetime. I remember some schools had their field trips there
and even their field days were held there every June. Great times, good old days.
I wont ever forget the first time we all walked to the park to go swimming & the place was empty, no people, no kids,
now water in the pool & the fence was locked with a chain. We all looked at one another in disbelief, it was so sad. Ricky
Magagnos, Glenn Tonks, Kathy Navin,The Fetter kids, Me & a handful of others just stood there as if someone had stolen
something from us, they did. No body said anything,we just turned around & we all walked home, quiet because that was
the end & we knew it.
We were changed that day the Park was closed. We still had Quackenbush and Central Park and Collins Park and Central Park
but we were really gonna miss Grout Park. Nothing to do about it but watch it now deteriorate into what was to become nothing
more than a real shame for Schenectady. Very Sad.
To the powers that be...you can close the rec building and cut back the bushes and chain the gate to the pool that was
"ours" but even with all that, you cant ever take away my fond memories of all the great times we had at Grout Park.
Time marched on, a lot of us moved away but when ever we see one another its always "Remember Grout Park and all the
fun?" Yeah, I DO and I always will : )