Unity Park ballfield dedicated to George F. Bush

  • George F. Bush takes in community love during his Unity Park ballfield dedication ceremony on Saturday. STAFF PHOTO/JULIAN MENDOZA

  • Jon Dobosz addresses George F. Bush and dozens of locals during Saturday’s ballpark dedication. STAFF PHOTO/JULIAN MENDOZA

  • George F. Bush takes in community love during his Unity Park ballfield dedication ceremony on Saturday. STAFF PHOTO/JULIAN MENDOZA

  • George F. Bush speaks during his Unity Park ballfield dedication ceremony on Saturday. STAFF PHOTO/JULIAN MENDOZA

  • Steve Ellis addresses George F. Bush and dozens of locals during Saturday’s ballpark dedication. STAFF PHOTO/JULIAN MENDOZA

  • Jon Dobosz addresses George F. Bush and dozens of locals during Saturday’s ballpark dedication. STAFF PHOTO/JULIAN MENDOZA

  • George F. Bush takes in community love during his Unity Park ballfield dedication ceremony on Saturday. STAFF PHOTO/JULIAN MENDOZA

  • George F. Bush looks on as his plaque is revealed at the Unity Park ballfield dedication ceremony on Saturday. STAFF PHOTO/JULIAN MENDOZA

Staff Writer
Published: 5/22/2022 3:58:30 PM
Modified: 5/22/2022 3:58:11 PM

TURNERS FALLS — Generations of Turners Falls residents braved the noontime heat to show appreciation for veteran athletics coach and lifelong Turners Falls resident George F. Bush during his dedication ceremony at Unity Park’s baseball field on Saturday.

Bush, 95, is a man beloved in the village for the time, money and care he dedicated toward cultivating the culture of Turners Falls athletics since he first took to the diamond in the 1930s. He was celebrated for his time as an athlete, coach, teacher, key donor to school athletic programs and playground director within the village for two decades by a series of speakers during the ceremony.

Despite sweltering conditions, dozens were in attendance under the shade of the fieldhouse to show support by the time Parks and Recreation Director Jon Dobosz took to the microphone for an introduction. Dobosz, who came up with the idea to dedicate the ballfield to Bush, said the honor was “long overdue” during his speech.

“This was definitely something where I was like, ‘OK, I know what I need to do,’” Dobosz said of his thought process coming up with the idea.

Among those in attendance were residents ranging from pre-teens to peers who had worked and played alongside Bush over the years.

“I think it’s rare that someone can say they’ve had an intergenerational impact,” said Town Administrator Steve Ellis, taking to the podium after Dobosz.

Following the brief set of speeches, a plaque was unveiled. Adorning a granite monument, the plaque celebrates Bush for having “played an integral role in the lives of generations of local youth.”

After the unveiling, Bush himself sat in front of the microphone and addressed the crowd. In his speech, he recalled growing up in Montague and relishing his time spent at parks, while later helping others enjoy the same passion.

Looking out across Unity Park after concluding his speech, Bush noted that “it certainly has improved” and appreciated how it is “wonderful what (children) have” nowadays at the location.

“I don’t know what else they can do,” he said of the park.

Bush said, however, that he wished Millers Falls and Montague Center had similar luxuries nowadays in terms of parks and playgrounds. He voiced disappointment in the decline of these spaces within Montague, as well as the loss of a designated summer playground director position.

“When you had more playgrounds, you were doing a lot for the kids for the summertime. … If (Montague doesn’t) have anything to offer, they won’t be coming to the playground,” Bush said.

Looking ahead optimistically, though, Bush voiced confidence that his presence within Turners Falls — and the plaque that immortalizes it — will prompt the village to continue valuing parks and playgrounds going forward.

“Obviously, being honored by your community is very, very significant,” he said. “Hopefully, here is where I’ll be remembered long after I’m gone.”

Reach Julian Mendoza at 413-772-0261, ext. 261 or jmendoza@recorder.com.


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