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A time to relax

Their lives are scattered across the state like the dominoes strewn across the picnic table where they sit.

Ralph and Annette Walker came down from Creola. John and Mary Salter drove up from Bay Minette. And Miller and Esther Ross made the shortest commute of all &8212; just up the road from their home in Sweet Water.

The group was playing &8220;Mexican train&8221; dominoes Wednesday afternoon at Foscue Creek Park. With their recreational vehicles marking the three points of a triangle, the group seemed as ease with one another as only old friends can.

But the back stories of this group are truly fascinating. Ralph Walker and Esther Ross knew one another as teenagers in Thomaston. They lost touch, but met again &8212; years later &8212; while on separate RV trips. Since then, the group has begun meeting three or four times a year. At Foscue Creek Park, they fish, go into Demopolis to shop and generally just enjoy their time together.

This trip is a little late in the season.

But late or not, the group is enjoying themselves immensely &8212; and the staff at the park is part of that fun.

Still others enjoy the park for the solitude it provides. Linden native Nita Craig walks the shady paths of the park every other day to get some exercise. The stillness, the absence of sound and interference are soothing &8212; perhaps, as rock-and-roller Warren Zevon once sang, the park offers &8220;splendid isolation.&8221;

The Dart is a weekly feature where a Times staffer throws a dart at a map of Demopolis and seeks out a story associated with where the dart lands. It runs Thursdays.