During a visit to Central Park when I was 18, I had a bad experience. I was sitting in a horse-drawn buggy waiting for our tour to begin, when a strange man ran up alongside the buggy, grabbed my wrist and tried to pull me out of it. Fortunately, he did not succeed, but from that day on, I was convinced that Central Park was nothing but evil and I decided never to go back there again. Ever.
Two of my best friends, however, LOVE the place. They are sisters, both from the deep south. They donít live near any major cities so they want to go to New York every time they come up to PA to visit. During their trip up in 2005, I agreed to go with them for the day. They knew my story, but we all agreed that it was time for me to put this fear of Central Park to rest, so with their help, I walked through the entrance for the first time in 27 years. Iím smiling in the picture, but inside, I was screaming. Still - Iím happy to say - I did it!
I havenít been back since Ė but doing this with my girls helped me to at least partially put that nightmare behind me.