from Oakland Voices

FM Smith Park

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Friday, July 11, 2014

By Shavonnee Clark - As I sat on a bench at FM Smith Park on East 20th Street and Park in east Oakland, a calming breeze filled the air. It was 5:30pm on a Tuesday summer afternoon and though the sun was out, the cooling breeze mitigated the effect of the blistering sun. People came and went leisurely through the park, picking up their children from a city-sponsored daytime summer camp as a “Free Lunch” sign hanging from the park’s gymnasium blew lazily in the afternoon breeze. There were a few children left playing basketball in the park. One young girl roamed to the right of the children, rolling a red bouncy ball alone as a camp leader leaned on a wall close by. A little farther away from the basketball courts, to the left in the grass,  a cohort of people sat, presumably a family of old and young.