Of the twelve benches in Friendship Park, only the four along the southern walkway across from the hospital are made of wood and only those four have been carved up.
The carvings include names like “Anthony,” “George,” “Karl,” “Renee” and “Phil.” They include dates like “95.” They include declarations of love or friendship like “SM + NM 2010.” They include mysterious peculiarities like “Meetloaf” and “Itlain” and “Greek.”
Some of the carvings are deep enough to collect rainwater. Others are as faint as a cat scratches. Some started out deep, but have been slowly rubbed away by thousands of bottoms. Each summer, as people sit and enjoy the weather, they unknowingly wear away an earlier year of carvings. So neighbors make the carvings and neighbors erase them.
The carvings only appear on the front on the benches, not on the back. They would be safe from the elements and the asses on the back, but they would also be hidden from view.