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ODDITY | Peaceful Pets 

Peaceful Valley's new ballers

click to enlarge artsculture13-1-31f6a187a8378d34.jpg

Just weeks after the biggest three-on-three basketball tournament on the planet, the basketball court in Peaceful Valley Park is barren. The sweltering heat has forced neighborhood ballers to seek refuge in their homes or the nearby flowing river until the summer sun finally sets.

On a cooler afternoon, locals are known to inhabit the park in loving memory of "The King of Peaceful Valley," Jerry Talley, who was famous in the area for his love of the court situated underneath the Maple Street Bridge. Whether they're alone practicing their free throws or playing a pickup game with neighbors, the people of Peaceful Valley are never alone on the court.

Since Talley left the blacktop for the final time in 2012, some new players were added to the park that are a bit out of the ordinary, even by Peaceful Valley standards. The neighborhood is already a safe haven for the eccentric, the unique and the delightfully unusual. But these new ballers may be the 'hood's weirdest residents.

That's because these Peaceful Valley oddities are human-sized birds, marine life and woodland animals who rock at basketball.

The mysterious patrons of Peaceful Valley Park were added by an unknown artist sometime after Talley left the basketball court. Appropriately, they're already decked out in uniforms and have a reasonable supply of basketballs.

The art is wholesome, and gives Spokane hope that street paintings, murals and creations can be something more than gang-related tags. For the most part, it has been untouched and loved by the people of Peaceful Valley.

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