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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Tuesday, Sept. 30, 2014

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Readers Blog: Calling The Kettle Black

Annual Reunion Picnic Peaceful

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Every year on the first Sunday in August, there's a reunion picnic at Carver Park.  Usually, there's no drama, just people catching up.

There I saw generations of people who either live or used to live in Hillside or Lapham Park over the years.  Most of the people who are from either project that I saw were young and I didn't know them.

Some of the old school folks I grew up with were scattered all over the park.  There was a long history of a bitter rivalry between the two projects for years.  You name it, it happened.  We're talking about fights, threats, beatdowns and dirty looks.

I lived in Hillside, so anybody from Lapham didn't dare cross our territory to walk downtown.  Now we're trying to get past that and keep the peace.

And to help keep the peace, there were Milwaukee County's finest law enforcement team posted in the park, about 30 cars deep.

Sheriff David Clarke made sure his deputies were at African World Festival Saturday and State Fair Park to stop any mob attacks.  Sunday, they were at Carver Park, in case something jumped off.

Here, you didn't find any drama.  The parents were with their kids.  The grills were everywhere all over the park.  Music blasted from some of the cars, but there was no drama.

If anything was to happen, there were enough older people at the park to make sure that the reunion picnic remained drama-free.  None of that nonsense that took place at State Fair Park was happening at the park, which is in Lapham territory.

They had the annual Hillside vs. Lapham Park basketball game, and the rough play on the outdoor court almost resulted in some pushing and shoving and some trash-talking.  But what can you say?  That was the way the rivalry games has always been.

I don't know if the peaceful atmosphere will change next year.  Since the gun law passed, who's to say if some people come to the park packing heat next year. 

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