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Monday, June 30, 2014

Elephant Slides - Hidden Gems in Topeka


Yesterday, Sunday June 29, 2014 at noon the wife and I joined a group of folks at Ward Parkway Park (in the 1600 block of Burnett Rd). You might be asking yourself, where is Burnett Rd. It is off 17th street, 1st road east of Mount Hope Cemetery.  Located in a quiet neighborhood, this park has no parking other then on the street.  There are plenty of shade, a couple picnic tables, a grill , a couple of brightly colored benches and of course the elephant slide.
The slide, was the focus of the nine people that showed up. Seven on lookers, enjoying the fellowship as two people, Jim "Gypsy" and Deb George re-painted the slide shaped like an elephant.

Artists at work. Gypsy and his wife re- paint the elephant slide.
Photography by Kevin Surbaugh
George, who owns Skin Art Creations Tattoo Emporium, said he is restoring the artwork on three slides in Topeka parks that had been painted to look like elephants. The slide was a highlight of the Children’s Park near S.W. 6th and MacVicar when he was a boy, he said, and while he was pleased to see it was still there when he moved back to Topeka in October, the slide showed signs of weathering and the paint was peeling.
- Megan Hart (staff writer for Topeka Capital Journal)

photography by Kevin Surbaugh

Photography by Kevin Surbaugh
According to Gypsy the three slides that he and his wife know of and the names he's given each of them are:
1. Children's Park (6th and McVicar) Elphie
2. Ward Parkway Park (1600 block of Burnett) Pinky
3. Sims Park (18th and Sims Ct.) Puchie

photography by Kevin Surbaugh
According to recent newspaper article, quoted earlier, kids are loving the repainted elephants. Gypsy said that when he hears of another location, he checks it out to see if it is still there. He believes that originally, all the parks had one of these slides. Unfortunately many of them are no longer there. Personally, we think it would be great if another one or two could be found and restored.  It is possible, that some may have been painted over and just don't have the elephant on them anymore. Which may mean a small amount of imagination may be required to see what it originally was.
Photography by Kevin Surbaugh
Photography by Kevin Surbaugh



2 comments:

  1. You guys totally rock thank you for what you've done for the parks and the children awesome photos as well

    ReplyDelete
  2. Is the one in N. Topeka at Garfield park still there?

    ReplyDelete

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