Part 2. Best of West Medfid: Early 90’s

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Hopefully you enjoyed Part 1 of the Best of West Medfid: Early 90’s Edition. Thanks for reading and for the awesome feedback. We don’t do exclusively West Medford stuff, but I’ve covered Halloween, Little League, Park League and a bunch of other stuff, and plan on doing a regular West Medford feature.

You can see all of it here

Now that the bullshit is out of the way, let’s get to the Rest of the Best Of West Medfid: Early 90’s Edition

Best Field for Pickup Football

You could play at the Gleason. Perfect size, but you had walkways to contend with. *The Gleason was the best spot for stickball (toward the cemetery) or Yorker (with the school as a left field wall).

Playstead was a good choice too, with tons of space. My favorite thing there was to play across the diamond like it was Candlestick Park. The real drawback was having to use jackets and hats as boundaries, because God forbid someone think to spend 2.99 on some cones.

My winner here is Tower Park. Natural sidelines, thanks to bushes and benches and it was the perfect length field for a Hutch. If you had a good arm (I did) an 11 year old could drop in a fade just about end zone to end zone. Btw, Hutch is the only acceptable mini-football…nerf is for amateurs and babies.

Best place to hang out (Daytime)

Everyone had their favorite spots to kill the daylight hours, but the best place was absolutely Playstead Park. It was the center of the universe as far as we were concerned. Sure you had the regular activities: playground, basketball court, field, park league…but Playstead offered so much more.

Free fireworks littered the place on the 5th of July. The trails in back were the best place to play king of the hill, and also the best place in town to light fires. If you didn’t almost burn down the trails at Playstead, you haven’t lived. You could also put random shit on the tracks for the train to run over…always a good time. There was always one kid who said the train could get derailed by a 2L of Jolt…NERD.

The park also served as a staging ground for parties, fistfights, and bike “borrowing” trips to Arlington. And to this day, it remains the only place on the planet I’ve ever seen Mormons take a break from their mission to hustle some young teens in b-ball. We would swear and talk about drinking to try and break their concentration…but those dudes could flat out ball.

Best Place to Hang (Nighttime)

This could be a controversial one. We don’t have a clear winner, but we’ve narrowed it down to 4 choices and not sure any of them are right:

Victory: Probably the best spot for a keg party, once you’re in there. Issue is, somebody has to carry a keg across Winthrop Street at dusk, and then basically a half mile into the woods. Many ankle sprains and busted shins on that trek.

U-Haul: Let’s go drink on some train tracks, on top of a bridge, that happens to run over a busy street, 50 yards from a busy parking lot and even closer to an apparent homeless settlement camp. What could go wrong? Favorite story about this place, one kid (who shall remain nameless) had a flood light on his full-sized sedan and pointed it down from Canal Street, claiming to be the cops and yelling at everyone to freeze. I guess we had it coming, such a terrible place to hang out in retrospect.

The Cliff: Decent spot unless the cops come. When they do your choices are, hang around and hope they aren’t looking to PC anyone, or you can try to get away. The only path to get away…essentially down the face of the cliff. I’m beginning to think teenagers might be kinda dumb.

Woodchips: This was a good one, easily accessible and escapable. A little close to the neighborhood, but it worked out ok. The drawback here was, you’re drinking in back of the cemetery, where you spend much of your childhood convinced there was an escaped knife-wielding mental patient living in the woods. And even though you knew that was BS, every time you went looking, there was always one kid who “saw the glare off the knife blade poking out from behind a tree”. Which brings us to…..

Best Urban Legend

Obviously, the knife-wielding maniac I just mentioned is a strong candidate, and probably should be the winner here, since it’s “Urban Legend”. But it’s my list and I’m picking something different.

Some suggestions:

  • The Kid who got caught on the RR Crossing Gate
  • Did Justin Crisafulli really hit one over the Parkway?
  • Could Anthony Taylor really throw down in-game dunks in the 8th grade (yes, he could, and did on my head)

All valid choices, but I’m going with another:

You may or may not be aware of Chester…but this guy was downright creepy. And unlike the mental patient, he 100% existed. And he creeped people out 100% of the time. He sat, shirtless, at a small table, facing directly out his front window, and was there all day, everyday. And when you walked by, sometimes he wouldn’t say anything, he’d just laugh. Like, full-on belly laugh. At what? I have no fuckin’ clue to this day. The “Legend” part of Chester was whether or not he had neighborhood kids locked up in the basement or buried in the backyard. I’m (mostly) sure he didn’t. He was probably just an old guy who liked messing with kids. And if he was…well, played, Chester….well played.

That’s it, folks, all I got for now. But I’m sure I’ll come up with some different West Medford content soon.

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