Cross-posted from The Harping Monkey.
For the second year in a row, we visited my wife Leah’s in-laws over the July 4th holiday weekend. They live in Southern Illinois in a town called Benton. About 40 minutes’ drive from their home, in Carbondale, is one of the most amazing parks I’ve ever seen.
This park is called Jeremy “Boo” Rochman Memorial Park. Jeremy was a teenager who lived in Carbondale and died in an auto accident several years ago. Jeremy was an avid roleplayer and from what I understand, a particular fan of D&D. So, to honor his memory, Jeremy’s parents bought a tract of land near the site of the accident and built him a park. A park with wizards, dragons, and fantasy statuary. A park with a huge, extremely well-built and well-maintained castle. A castle that you can actually go into, wander around in, and enjoy, including secret passages, crawlspaces, towers, thrones, and amazing artwork throughout.
This is how you honor someone who loved the stuff we love. This is how parents who love their geek kid and are not ashamed of his hobby honor a son. This is how adults from all over the place can honor the spirit of myth and imagination and inspire it in their children.
I invite you to peruse the embedded slideshow of images I took over our last two visits to Boo Rochman Park, and also, if you’re so inclined, to follow the links below the slideshow to get more info.
|Castle Park, Carbondale IL|