After the public meetings on South Rim master planning held in mid-1974, NPS continued with ROMA to explore Grand Canyon Village re-design. As always, we Canyon advocates worried. A January 1975 letter from AWWW, a Tucson group I worked with, targeted the idea of a "parking garage" at Mather Point; it would "stimulate a whole new round of pressures for more development outside the present visitor service areas". "An already impacted area inside the presently developed district" should be found; cars should be well back from the rim.
In February 1975, a change was signaled when NPS, at ROMA's request, set up the 25th a two-day on-site discussion on Village planning with concessioners and "other interested parties". The past several months had clearly been busy for the consultants; the topic was a new ROMA report on "Program Design and Alternatives" for the Village, a 3# 14"-long behemoth for us to digest in a week. I am not sure I understand how such a document works even now, but the description and maps and charts indicated to use that the more radical direction of the Development Concept had been abandoned. No currently used space, such as the trailer area, would be closed or redirected in use. The maps, dated 24 Feb 1975, have visitors still driving to Mather Point for their first view, with parking and a visitor center adjacent. In the so-called alternatives, they go to Mather, then down the road a way for those facilities. The idea of parking at a distance and then approaching the rim on foot is gone (p 1-19), even though "because of its huge parking requirement the reception facilities are potentially devastating environmentally" and this "component will be largely responsible for visitor attitudes about the quality of the manmade environment at the Canyon". So in the six months of internal deliberation on the plans it had put forth, NPS had decided to junk all its own forward thinking, and instead worsen its and visitors' problems with cars.
The agenda called for a presentation the first day on the projections of visitor use, followed by a discussion of visitor facilities to meet those projections. The second day there was to be an attempt at consensus, or at least an identification of unresolved points. Although I am concentrating here on the first-look visitor experience, there was discussion about the other aspects of Village planning: overnight use, interpretation, administrative & concessioner needs including for residences. Of the over 30 participants, 2 of us were outside advocates. The Park sent 9, outside NPS divisions 7, and concessions 7. ROMA sent 6, and the Forest Service, 2. My notes suggest there was a concentration on day use, stressing mass transit and people getting out of their cars, and a desire to avoid kitsch and a crowded, mass experience. However, a more complete record was kept, identifying speakers. So I know that:
Odermatt of ROMA stressed its quantified analysis, while suggesting new construction could be avoided. There followed a long discussion about NPS and concession housing, brought up by McComb of the Sierra Club. This might have seemed an odd start given that the main concern was the day visitor. However, residential housing apparently was in a crisis. After lunch, ROMA conceded that the most convenient day-use entry plan caused the most use of currently unimpacted areas. I wanted to separate transport considerations (cars could even be left in Williams!) from the desirable Park experience--one that was as natural as possible. Odermatt challenged me on this choice: cars into a big garage, or spread out with bigger impact on environment. I replied there will be resistance to building on rim. Anti-car discussion followed, and promoting the shuttle bus inside Park, though the problem arose in getting to it. The concessioner did not want to "force visitors to funnel" onto buses. Discussion ensued of concentrating day visitors versus spreading them out. This issue was a recurring theme. The question of where to do interpretation was raised. This moved on to considering new functions for the older buildings whose use was outmoded. The concessioner did not like that. Rail service was also put down. We ended by talking about how to get people to sit down for lunch.
When I sent my impressions of the meeting to Odermatt and Sup't Stitt, I (finally) was stressing the basics of "protection of the rim and the area leading up to it". Leave undeveloped areas alone and reclaim the developed ones. Indeed, wherever there is natural cover, it ought to be left alone. So I made "a strong pitch for the scheme using the trailer area for parking". [Why did I not do that earlier? No excuse, but the period of late 1972-early 1975 was the intense period for congressional enlargement of the Park and for the wilderness/river traffic controversy.] I thought the overnight area of the old Village "a sad environment for the visitor". Then I emphasized the need for the variety, quality, & quantity of information & interpretation materials.
McComb began his comments by emphasizing the need for a Park visit to be "a very special occasion". He noted that the plateau adjacent to the rim is integral to the Canyon, and in fact emphasized the need for better interpretation. He agreed on eliminating cars, and quickly by fixing the trailer area for parking by 1976. [Now that would have been a bold, practical move. ROMA showed only 146 sites.] McComb went further and suggested that percentage car use for people coming to the Park could well decline, so alternative plans outside ROMA's planning box were important. There was plenty of already impacted area, as our walks around showed. On the other hand, impacted area, if not reused, could recover. Notwithstanding that, the "mess" of the Village had left a formidable task. In closing, he noted that our joint walks had been enjoyable as well as useful, a reminder that feet on the ground are an essential assist in getting the right words on paper.
In my notes on ROMA's work, I was much exercised by their demand analysis and their projections (which have not turned out so badly: 4 million in 2000, they thought). I also thought they had not relied on the Development Concept document enough, and failed on providing alternative futures. Over and above that, I worried that public participation had been minimal and erratic; it was always an experiment for NPS. I worried that pushing the administrators only meant they would terminate the experiment. [And indeed, the history of how the EIS process has changed might well show how agencies have tried to channelize public involvement, distancing us from them.]
In May, the Park reacted to what it called "several inquiries" about the status of its planning by sending out a "Dear Friend" letter. It spoke of delays because of other parks' efforts and the need to take account of the changes brought by the Park Enlargement Act of 1975. Both plans and their EIS's were being reviewed at the regional level after revision following the 1974 public meetings, and there were further steps after that in Washington. So a few months more… For the Village, data are being gathered for a comprehensive design based on the Development Concept (which was not what ROMA's document told us). There would be new uses for old buildings and use of previously impacted landscape.
Also that summer, the surge in visitors in connection with the coming Bicentennial year had stimulated talk about reviving some train service. Just talk though; the Santa Fe said it could no longer run passenger trains; and Amtrack was not interested either.
In September, there was another planning status letter, saying the Master Plan was close to approval, though the Development Concept lagged, having "undergone considerable revision". Data gathering on the Village design was almost complete. However, the big news was that the process of drafting a Wilderness proposal for the greatly enlarged park would begin shortly with public workshops at seven locations.
While the Park was trying to calm public anxiety, I was talking with various people at the Park, Interior, and ROMA, as they refined their proposals. It was a very busy time. I see by my notes that during a two-day period in September, I had picked up information on the river controversy, the Havasupai Use Area, Exxon uranium exploration, grazing on the old Monument, the Hualapai boundary, and on the ROMA people's visit to the Park to go over the plan on the ground. Indeed, one informant told me that a two-level parking structure would be in the trailer area; half above ground, half below. At the Yavapai Point interpretive center, there was talk of a kiva concept. Cars would be all off the rim. On 8 September 1975, I heard the ROMA plan now included a very heavy increase in residential building density. There would be a new motel. The rim would end up more encroached upon, just not built on. In a "long, agreeable talk" with Odermatt, I found that planned public workshops would not be held, but there would be two informal meetings, in October & December. He talked about their concept at Yavapai and turning the powerhouse into a restaurant. I was to believe the parking facility would not show. By the 10th, I had seen the ROMA report, and although it talked of remodeling old buildings, there would be a new structures for parking & interpretation-- "relatively small and inconspicuous". The exact site was yet to be selected. It pushed for more interpretive personnel, and would restrict the Old Village to foot traffic. The staff housing shortage was critical.
I followed up my chats with a letter to the Superintendent in mid-October commenting on ROMA's latest version. Segmenting the plan, in a time of tight funding, was smart, and first should come a revised "entrance scenario" using the trailer area for parking, with shuttle service and a modest reception facility near the parking. This could all be done with little delay. [Well, I had to say these things; I knew better. At this point, it had been three years since the Development Concept had been written, and not yet finally approved.] I remained "leery" about new structures, like for parking. And wouldnt it be a shame to create a whole new concession center, thus increasing the "suburbanization" ROMA pointed out. I was bothered because there was no landscaping plan, only a focus on the man-made. I was impressed by the transport combination whereby the day visitor could, by bus and/or foot, get a quick rim view, visit Yavapai, go to the old Village for services and a different rim view, and then go out the West Rim. This was a variety of choices that could be achieved by "tempting" people out of their cars. I found this a "much more appropriate document", and "if implementation follows the idea of moving cautiously, … yet keeping under an overall scheme as positive as (this) one, the Park will have gotten its money's worth". Good words, but I had to miss both the ROMA meetings at the Canyon and in San Francisco on 30 October.
Just as well. At that meeting, ROMA presented the selection of a "burned-over area" near Mather Point as the preferred site for the parking-reception facility. The trailer area and a site at the junction with the East Rim Drive were listed as alternates. As John McComb reported to me, the regional director had approved the Mather area because:
1. it was 500' from the rim;
2. people would be encouraged to walk to Yavapai;
3. being encouraged to walk would add to variety;
4. the two-level parking facility could not be seen.
The trailer area had drawbacks:
1. it was a physically large place;
2. people would be discouraged because of distance and view of water tanks;
3. it would leave RV's with no place to go.
[So, lets get this straight. The basic idea of the Concept and of the Plan was to keep physical structure encroachment away from the rim. The regional office, contrariwise, wanted the new structures at Mather Point since it was close to the rim,. That is, the big decision that would have shown NPS was ready to embrace a new way of approaching the Canyon was junked because it would be a new way of approaching the Canyon. The Park Service walked right up to the future, took a look, then turned and walked away. That decision, approved by Regional Director Howard Chapman in Oct 1975, reached reality in June 2011, as I wrote on 4 Sep 2011. We can now visit the Mather suburb and judge for ourselves.
As a confirming note, Brad Traver of NPS, who headed the team that got the reception center built in the late 1990's, (see my 26 Oct 2011 entry) says that during pipeline construction in the late 1960's, half of the trailer court became "temporary" contractor housing. It has been employee housing ever since. And he supports the notion that in the visitor's arrival sequence, seeing the canyon is the first need.]
McComb's notes on the meeting pointed out that when the concessioner worried out loud about a drop in use of his offerings and wondered if he could set up something at the reception center, NPS and ROMA both rejected the idea. The discussion went to interpretation and how buildings, existing and new, would fit in. When the talk got to overnight visitors, again parking garages were foremost, where and how big. Maybe there could be something sunken on the old railroad area.
Events were not only heating up, they were speeding up. We were invited to the next meeting, just ahead in December as an on-site dress rehearsal for the final presentation in January 1976 of ROMA's Comprehensive Village Design. Stirred, maybe incensed, I worked hard to stay in the spirit of accepting the need for some intensive development by offering constructive suggestions even as I criticized the Mather Point location. This included driving and walking around the Park lands behind the public areas more extensively than I had before, looking for usable sites that had already been damaged. The oversight we can now get from satellite displays (as on Google maps et al.) would have been very useful; there certainly were a lot of Aha! moments--walking in the Park backlots is a history lesson all by itself. What were the possible entry routes to various points; how to connect into the shuttle system; above all, where to put the cars?
By the way, it is interesting that at this point, the free Park bus system did not go to Mather Point. Here is the (undated, attractive) route map:
The West Rim bus (in white) continued to Hermits Rest, of course.
The trend in my thinking, in order to counter new development at Mather pushing Village suburbanization to the east, was to pick the "entry sequence" up and move it back toward the west, bringing traffic in the south to a point where visitors could make choices-- rim overlooks, the west rim drive, overnight reservations &/or accommodations, Yavapai interpretive center -- and thus leave their cars at the appropriate point to start their visit. At some point in my consideration of this, I came to realize that I could piggyback my challenge onto ROMA's ideas about reusing the Old Village. Why, I came to ask, could not the day visitor also benefit from this revitalization?
If cars were sent along a southerly route over to the Village, the only traffic that would go through Park entry and north would be that headed for the East Rim drive. Yavapai and Mather Points would become end-points on the shuttle routes, not first destinations. Here, courtesy of Google maps, is where I was looking. Just for fun, I have added big arrows to show the eastward push by NPS and my attempt at "containing the development". Mather Point is at the tip of the purple arrow.
After attending the December ROMA presentation, I sent out a report "concerning proposals for parking garages, South Rim". The NPS preferred proposal was for a facility that would grow to 2000 cars. I proposed to counter with a proposal for garages on the spur and main railbed on the Village's western edge.
First I had to squash the notion that choosing Mather was the result of a long process now set in concrete. Hearings on the Development Concept had been held in July 1974, and that plan even yet had not been issued. Even the Master Plan had only just been released for comment. Planning was an on-going, so-far-incomplete process. The Development Concept had envisioned parking near the recreational vehicle lot. That idea was still being strongly considered in February 1975. Then a September news release said there had been "considerable revision", but no need for public review of the Village Design. At that point, I spoke with ROMA's Odermatt, and wrote to the Park supporting the Development Concept. However, I could not attend the October meeting at which the Mather location was presented as "preferred". But I quickly took the chance to challenge it, and talked with NPS staff who are for the Mather site. So, though it was a "radical departure" from the Development Concept, I understood internal support for the Mather site. However, if public support for such a development were needed, then public input could not just be cut off.
I objected to the selected site because
1. it would be a "large-scale constructed object on the rim";
2. a natural area would be developed;
3. an area on the outskirts of present development would have heavy construction, continuing the eastward spread of the Village.
4. Put differently, instead of re-using the Village to its utmost, a new area would be opened to sprawl.
5. It would be better to de-develop Mather to a more natural environment.
6. "It only adds to the feeling of woe to realize that this natural area on the rim is to be devoted to the automobile. Whatever happens to our national modes of transport in the next 100 years--or whatever the life of that garage would be--giving up juniper, pińon, & Kaibab limestone for the concrete monument to the car is very harsh." Well, if words were horses, beggars would ride.
I then complimented ROMA for most of its work, particularly in boosting the Old Village. There was much to like. However, I pointed out, Mather's virtues should not be overblown. After all, people were not cheated for the 50 years that Bright Angel was the first-look site. Moreover, it disturbed me that people were calling the Mather parking-garage site impacted because it had been burned; I found it "as flourishing & naturally attractive as any part of the (undeveloped) rim".
My major point was that it would be a "big rim development that would tempt more big development and continuing sprawl". So my alternative was to keep concentrating development by placing the large parking facility on the west edge of the Village. That site would be an extension & intensification of ROMA proposals to retain & reclaim the benefits of that historic place.
I suggested an entry road could follow the sewer scar to the tank farm railroad spur and then the main line. Odermatt had called the sewer-scar road view of the North Rim "most fantastic" and initial orientation would take place driving along it. Parking would be at the spur, as ROMA suggested, and then on the main line, a transport zone being used for transport purposes. The Rowe Well road & connections were already available for the shuttle. There would be an initial choice point here for the visitor: walk to the rim, or take the shuttle to west rim viewpoints for views the equal of Mather, or bus to lodgings. A stop at the Old Village overlook would serve as detailed orientation. With the old cabins gone as planned, that area would be a large pedestrian mall, as envisioned for the reception area. I noted the potential for using kiosks. Yavapai and the old Village would be available for interpretation and services.
In summary, my report took on ROMA's assumptions and ideas about the Village and its area, and then refined them to get more use of existing man-made environments while saving more natural environment. Moreover, my approach could be tried out, experimented with, without making the great investment a new Mather development would entail.
NPS responded that my comments would be discussed when ROMA presented its plan to the Region and Denver Service Center staff. More personally, I was called to join a Park visit with DSC & ROMA's Bob Odermatt in mid-March 1976. Four of us looked over the various alternatives. I wrote Odermatt right after, admitting it was hard for me to think of "dedicating that little valley the railroad ran in to concrete and the car. Still, I was kept thinking of how the access road would help visitors get oriented. Additionally, I wondered whether with the Village as a focus for day visitors, there might be created a "festive atmosphere of all of us together moving toward this exciting thing (the Canyon)" and not the crisis and confusion some predicted.
I then received Odermatt's notes, reporting that we looked at ROMA's sketches and then walked the ground for the suggested sites, in order "to explore each in detail--positive and negative--with special emphasis on the R.R. site" I had suggested. "Conclusions were reached": the railroad site was a viable alternative, and both it and Mather point would provide a quality initial experience with special opportunities. The trailer site was called a "car dump", being only parking lots connected to transit. Positive points of converting the railroad trackage:
linear space would provide orientation;
it would be a good location for the reception center;
there were good initial views of Canyon--first narrow, then expanded;
convenient in winter too;
no new site would be opened for development;
overall, a good site.
visitors concentrated in old Village--possibly a negative experience;
garage would be in "the middle of one of the finest Ponderosa forests in the village;
maybe the railroad has another use;
doesnt maximize Yavapai interpretive site;
pollution would build up more there than at Mather;
people might have trouble figuring out how to change between shuttles.
An additional thought was that picnic sites could be "ideally suited" for railroad line [in that ponderosa?].
Here is a not-very-high-quality plan view of the area I was concentrating on, with the railroad line winding from the lower left corner up to "OLD VILLAGE".
With such active debate and events piling up, I met with some of the groups supporting my effort (AWWW, local hiking Club, Friends of the Earth), and then commented back to Odermatt in preparation for an April meeting -- an environmental group get-together in Phoenix. I told him I found his memo a good summary. I did think that we needed to see the comparative costs of incremental development; I thought the railroad would be cheaper. On his negative points, I wondered what "over-crowding" of the Village would be like. Wasnt that the idea anyway, to concentrate use in already used spots? On pollution, data were needed. I thought the picnic sites in the ponderosa were an advantage. His points about the village concentration and interfacing problems led me to re-walk the area, and I did not see the problem so long as "in a space this small, really careful design" was accomplished.
The final EIS for the 1972 Village Development Concept had appeared, and I used it to re-state to NPS the assumptions we "conservationists" held on the desirability of moving facilities away from the rim and the undesirability of new construction on the rim. So, I said, "abandon the idea of any new development for day trippers on the east side", leaving the area as it is. "Develop new and recycled facilities … as part of the rehabilitation of the Old Village." I urged a new road along the sewer scar and several parking choices, all of which could be served by shuttle. Such a move would halt the "historic encroachment toward the east, and accentuate the re-use of present areas".
So, two different ideas had been put into play. The question was how to reach a resolution or at least a decision. Of course, this was an NPS function, but consider: There was the Park staff; to the side but with heavy weight came the Denver Service Center; above was the deeply involved Western Region staff personally including its director; still higher and more remote, the NPS Director and staff would have to be convinced; there was as well the possibly that the Interior Secretariat could be involved (it was on other matters, and would be on this one in the 1990's). What were a few outsiders like us to do, confronted with such a structure, such a labyrinth?
The Phoenix meeting left no traces save for a friendly letter from Odermatt, saying he was always learning new things at such gatherings, and the big difference of this project from his other work was the sense of responsibility, since the consequences of an error in judgment could be much more grave.
More weightily, he noted the upcoming June meeting of NPS's Western Regional Advisory Committee at Grand Canyon to review the various plans. This was a group of eminences for NPS to bounce ideas off of. One, Nathaniel Owings, an prominent architect, was also on the Secretary's National Park Advisory Committee. Here was a different forum for us to work in, instead of dealing just with staff, many of whom were clearly committed. The two-day meeting would have a formal presentation, field trips, and a wind-up discussion session, with formal recommendations. Unfortunately, and embarrassingly, my files did not retain the list of members. They included Ben Avery, a long-time outdoors writer for The Arizona Republic, Lew Eaton, a Fresno banker who was chairman, environmentalist organization representatives, and 2-3 others. We were quite excited by the idea of talking before such a group to see if our ideas resonated at all.
The meeting itself was held in a rather prosaic room. I had the chance to brighten it slightly, since I had brought along the brand-new geologic map of the eastern Canyon, and put it upon the wall. The Committee was at the front of the room; the rest were like an audience. As always with such groups, some had more involvement with the Canyon (Avery, for instance); others just had more weight in the proceedings. Getting out on the field trip was important, but even more significant was the setting for dinner, hosted out on one of the non-public undeveloped viewpoints that NPS kept for such events. I have to admit, given how much time such issues consumed in writing and preparing, this particular meeting was rich in discussion that did not run in well-worn grooves.
In opening, Regional Director Chapman urged the group not to get bogged down, so that the opportunity would be lost to evaluate larger scale concepts and offer advice on this long range project. The greatest mission was preservation of the natural resource. Owings put in that this group was not designing anything, and he would report to the national group. For him, it was the moment of getting on the mass transit that provided the crucial transition point. The idea of moving facilities outside the Park was offered. Avery was worried about water; the pipeline was a disaster. However, he would like more space for camping, RV's, throw-down, since the Park was for all family members. Another did not want the visitor delayed; since they use water, let them get in, have a look, and get out. A representative from a state-wide group favored all cars being kept out of the Park. The old powerhouse was attractive as a center for interpretation. Another voice wanted to keep facilities in the Park, and let no water out to Tusayan. Owings thought well of Avery's desire for more family facilities. The idea came up of using the sewage scar for entry and parking until demand forced a move farther south. Avery was eloquent on El Tovar, and thought Mather a lesser place, spiritually. A motion was offered to experiment with parking options in the Village region evaluated by social research leading to a recommendation by 1980.
Water was seen as a limiter; to supply more would draw more visitors. There was an awful lot of airplane noise, the Sup't said; for hikers, it was a problem. More research was needed, but air trips needed for those who dont go down the trail. Legislation might be in order. Interpretation was stressed; people come first. Cars should be back farther. Someone noted that using the RV area for parking would be half the cost. Odermatt made a presentation of parking alternatives favorable to Mather. However, Avery stressed that the goal was the Village, and Owings brought up the impact of the car.
Right after the meeting, buoyed up, i wrote Chapman calling it more satisfactory than I expected. [Possibly had I thought the Advisory Committee was just a sounding board or rubber stamp for NPS.] I thought sensible the recommendation to approve most of the plans for the Village while taking more time to consider day-use parking. I would urge those I work with to endorse the design while actively trying to reach a parking solution. In fact, I suggested that there be a delay in working on the parking-reception matter. Positions appeared "too strongly held" to allow new, open-ended study. I would like to look at it again without any deadline pressure, and perhaps the Park staff would, too, reflecting my sense that staff preference for Mather was set. I had heard that ROMA's contract was being ended because of lack of funds. If there were a delay, then the study-research plan recommended by the Committee could start in 1977. After all, I noted, the millions of day users had never been adequately surveyed. I commended him for being able to say "wait a minute", and for the degree of public participation he had encouraged. I wished more individuals had offered idea, but NPS tried. Chapman was to meet with the NPS director in a couple of weeks.
But now it gets a tweak more interesting. I was furnished the Board's recommendations in draft. Number 3 endorsed the concept of parking/visitor reception along the railroad track in increments, starting with the current parking in the old depot area. The Committee was impressed that it would provide the greatest degree of convenience to the public, and provide a more efficient mass transit system while still making it easier for most to walk to the most popular visitor destinations.
However, when the final came out in mid-July, it said only that the Committee supported the need to provide additional parking and mass transit. It should be done incrementally and carried out on an experimental basis within the Village "region". This would include research on visitor use. A recommendation should be made within three years. Whether we really had convinced the advisors or not, NPS gave no sign of having changed its preferences.
The committee's first recommendation, dealt with the water supply, and its impact in making long range planning "uncertain". In any case, water should not be provided outside the Park except in "temporary emergency cases." (Later, a special appropriations rider pushed by Arizona's Senator DeConcini authorized providing water to such places as Tusayan. And still later, deep wells were drilled to provide for such places.) In another action, ROMA was commended for its Comprehensive Village Plan; it had done a "tremendous job", and the Committee agreed with the plan except on parking. The shuttle, use of historic buildings, and urgent need for staff residences were all endorsed, as was the expansion of camping and RV sites.. Foreshadowing the rise of another controversy, the Committee urged the elimination of feral burros.
Meanwhile, the Sierra Club repeated its opposition to a parking garage at Mather, but urged that re-development of the Village not be deferred. Over the past ten years, McComb noted, there had been a "long succession of planning document & activities". Virtually none have been implemented, so real-life "planning" has been influenced by day-to-day emergency action. And Bob Odermatt wrote me about his disappointment that their connection to the Park was ended even as work was "just beginning". The Washington office was years behind what had been happening, and he "desperately hoped that a few people isolated from all … which has gone on will not make a final decision which is in conflict with the positive aspects of the planning". Other responses led us to think that our impact on the process had not been negative or ignored.
In line with Odermatt's concern, an internal memo of the regional office said the NPS Director approved of the Master and Development Concept Plans on three issues: NPS should provide water outside the Park; there should be a day-use limit; there must be additional parking and mass transit. However, not to worry, the Regional Director assured McComb in July that further consideration "has resulted in our decision not to proceed with a major parking structure at Mather Point". Temporary parking actions will be done to test alternatives and to encourage shuttle bus use, to progress toward an "auto-free rim-viewing experience". Other contact indicated there would be further evaluation of alternative "modes and routes of access to the rim viewing areas." I have a copy of a questionnaire distributed at the Park asking visitors about how they used their car, and what they thought of parking areas at various points if free transport was provided. And at the end of August, I visited the Park and commended the Sup't on the new parking lot near the train depot.
And at this point, most of the actors left the stage; quiet descended. At least my files show no activity into 1978.