Duncan Park regulars ‘in the groove’

Published 12:00 am Sunday, December 19, 1999

In the last year, Billy and Bessie Thomas have become as much of a fixture at Duncan Park as the tennis courts and the golf course.

That is because, ever since they decided to take up walking as a way to lose weight and improve their health in general, they have been exercising on the park’s walking track nearly every day.

Each afternoon, the couple walks from their house on Auburn Avenue, around the walking track and back home, a distance they estimate is about two and a half miles. And Billy Thomas walks for one and a half hours every morning as well. Once, the Thomases had to go out of town early, so he decided to hit the track even earlier.

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&uot;It was a quarter to 5 in the morning, and I heard someone behind me … and I&160;thought I&160;was about to get mugged,&uot;&160;he said.

But it turned out to be a young jogger, one of the track’s many regulars. The Thomases said that by now, they know almost all those who jog or walk at the track regularly.

&uot;I may not know them by name, but I&160;know them when I&160;see them,&uot;&160;Billy Thomas said.

Actually, the Thomases were the just about the only people exercising on the Duncan Park track Sunday, when The Democrat’s Dart found them. The others were probably kept inside by chilly, damp weather and Christmas obligations.

&uot;But I&160;don’t mind (the weather) at all,&uot;&160;Billy Thomas said. &uot;In fact, I&160;like the cold. It’s the heat I can’t stand.&uot;

Walking at a brisk pace in her white-and-pink jogging suit, Bessie Thomas was the picture of determination.

That was despite the fact that walking isn’t one of her favorite pastimes – and that cooking and shopping for Christmas have kept her plenty busy.

&uot;I&160;wouldn’t say I like walking,&uot;&160;she said. &uot;But it’s something I’ve made up my mind to do. And now, I’ve gotten in the groove.&uot;

The Dart is a weekly feature in which a reporter throws a dart at a map and finds a story wherever it lands.