Although a great number of people were involved in this project, three people in particular were my constant companions during the eight years that the forty-three acre site known then as the South Whidbey Community Center was being developed. They are Engineer Hanford Thayer, and Randy and Myrna Bradley of the Bradley Construction Company. Hanford donated his engineering services from beginning to end and Randy and Myrna Bradley donated their construction company’s equipment. At work parties Randy would operate one of their bulldozers, Myrna usually drove a dump truck, Everet Peterson an excavator or road grader, and son Mike a bulldozer and various other machines, while their youngest son JT would also be involved wherever needed. The Bradley Construction workers and the other construction company operators worked together with great energy and smiles through the various weekend work parties after putting in too many hours on their paying jobs.
I could call Randy Bradley or Hanford Thayer at any time for their professional consultation and advice. They were both always encouraging and enthusiastic, which was critical to the eight year endeavor and the many projects that were accomplished as part of the overall development. Even though they were both extremely busy with their own business and personal affairs they treated the development of the park as if they were being paid at a premium although along with their donation of professional time they also incurred many out of pocket expenses.
I would also like to acknowledge the large groups who took part in the work parties, those who did the legal, escrow and title work, and who took part in all the fund raising projects with such great enthusiasm. Each person who gave to the park project was very important. Each one is thanked and appreciated by inclusion in the story where the record and the pictures of their work are detailed. I believe all those who did the work will agree that without Randy and Myrna Bradley and Hanford Thayer the volunteer effort to build the South Whidbey Community Park would not have succeeded.
Although I kept pictures, notes, articles and documents for about twenty eight years hoping to someday write the history of the beginning years of the Community Park it would not have been written if not for Dr. James Talbot who invested numerous hours working with me as he edited the story and coordinated its development. He spent additional long hours with his computer organizing text with pictures and documents and placed them onto his Western Washington University website until a permanent location could be found.
Dr. Talbot is also the one who came up with the idea for writing a book about the park’s beginning years and he was instrumental in accomplishing many of the things that were required in writing the book with me. At the age of 80 years he continues to pursue additional community projects with the hope that others may benefit from them.
In the case of the story about the South Whidbey Community Center, Jim and I hope that it will serve as an inspiration to those who are engaged in civic endeavors of their own and that the ideas used in building the park will be of value to projects that are being achieved wherever caring people are involved serving the needs of their community.
Craig Williams put my collection of pictures and documents onto the South Whidbey Historical Society’s web site that provided the basis for this story written with Dr. Talbot’s assistance. Craig’s appreciation of those who built the original forty-three acre community park and his subsequent involvement inspired me to move forward with the documenting of this historical record.
Timothy D. Scriven