Pick a day, almost any day, in the busy life of Quad Park’s Bob Townsend.
You’ll find him hustling to cover all the bases when it comes to running the popular recreation area in Post Falls.
Quad Park, brainchild of three forward-thinking locals, opened some 11 years ago amid unreceptive neighbors. Traffic, noise, congestion - all the usual complaints greeted the complex between 12th and 16th avenues on the eastern edge of town.
Now home to more than 1,650 avid softball enthusiasts, Quad Park has become a recreational showpiece. Paved access roads, manicured playfields and nicely landscaped, litter-free grounds all add to its class.
Monday through Sunday, the four softball diamonds come alive with players. Some are young, a few senior citizens, but throughout they are a collection of sports-minded individuals who gather to share a common interest - softball.
Townsend has made it all happen; he’s the kingpin behind Quad Park’s success. But Ed “Chappie” Brugger, on whose land the complex was built, also remains as active today in the park operation as he did 11 years ago.
Every spring, summer or fall morning, Brugger is smoothing four diamonds before taking care of maintenance and park repairs.
Since the park opened, a select core of investors and business types have joined the ownership ranks.
“But, well yes, I’m still the No. 1 guy, responsible for keeping the day-to-day operation going,” Townsend said. “A day, any day … My day starts with returning the many telephone calls from the night before.”
Townsend said he tries to judge which calls to make in what order, hoping to catch people before they leave. Others are called later.
This time of the year, Townsend said, calls deal with correcting schedule problems, questions about available openings for new players or players wanting to start a new team.
“After making my calls, I go to the park and update the team, league and tournament lists - based on what happened the night before. Press releases with the scores and game highlights must go out.”
“We sponsor or put together 16 tournaments each year, which, yes, involves a lot of time and people,” he said. “Then I do all the ordering for the concession stand. Often I drive to various retail outlets to pick up items we need. Oh, then there is the repair of any troublesome concession equipment. Always something….”
Next Townsend said he goes through the staff list to make sure the various elements of the park are covered for the day’s softball activities.
Quad Park maintains a work force of some 50 groundskeepers, scorers and concession employees.
The 30 umpires required at the park are provided through contract with Pacific Sports officials.
“When we’re open, there is a representative of the park ownership on duty,” Townsend said. “That simply is a must with our organization. Each one of us takes some part of the daily maintenance of the park.
“You know, you can’t for a minute overlook the loyalty of the people who come here to play ball and have a good time. You see all the time on television someone will start a fight and the benches are cleared and a real melee takes place. This just doesn’t happen at Quad.”
He continued: “We got one rule in this regard. You throw a punch and your banned forever - period.”
, DataTimes MEMO: Tom Burnett is a free-lance writer and former journalist who lives in Rathdrum. Panhandle Pieces appears every Saturday. The column is shared among several North Idaho writers.