Light & Shadow #45

Playground Duty — Moscow, ID Circa 1979

Apparently, grandpa had the youngsters for an afternoon, and a trip to the playground was the perfect way to occupy them.

I suppose injuries and liability cases had something to do with it, but modern playground equipment has lost its thrill. Just try to find a merry-go-round these days, where kids can spin themselves into delirium. Or an old-school slide — long and steep and made of butt-scorching metal.

We had the playground trifecta at the country school I attended from the 4th-6th grades. This picture brings back memories of those days.

One of my schoolmates brought an interesting performance improvement to our slide — wax paper. Who’d have thought that sitting on a piece of that stuff would increase our velocity so effectively! He probably grew up to make his cars go faster, too.

My personal favorite was to pump the swing long enough to gain maximum height then bail out at the apex of the forward arc. Sailing — or flailing — through the air was all fun and games until the day I did a face-plant in the gravel.

It just so happened to be picture day at school. I’m sure the photographer had fun making my face rash look like freckles.

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