Task of mammoth rewards

Oh the good old days. That's what we're talking about.

Maybe it's the smell of fresh laundry hanging on the line or the melody of the song that was playing when you were dancing with someone special.

It could be the sound of a loved one's voice now silent or the taste of homemade bread slathered in butter and dripping with honey.

Whatever the trigger, our memories are strongly connected to our emotions. That's what is tugging at the heartstrings of anyone who ever visited the Mr. Elephant slide in Richland's Howard Amon Park.

It's really not the thrill of the wind whipping through your hair on a 4-foot-tall slide that has fueled the interest in restoring the slide. It's each one-time child's own memories -- happy ones, we hope -- and nostalgia that has elevated Mr. Elephant to local celebrity status.

It's not much more than a pile of metal, and not a big pile at that, yet since of talk of reviving our old friend has come to the table, several groups have volunteered to take on the project.

Thanks to Total Energy Management for agreeing to restore the beloved pachyderm and footing the $4,000 bill. And thanks to all the other willing groups that volunteered to do the same thing.

It's not a big deal, really. It's just one small children's toy. But it means a lot to hundreds of "big kids."

Proving once again, "Elephants (and all the people who loved that slide as a child) never forget."