Friday, December 12, 2003

Kids were tougher back then

I found the above B-day card at the Liquor Barn today and a rush of memories flooded over me.  The sliding board bears an uncanny resemblance to the old school playground equipment I grew up with in the 1960's.

Only, ours had sides along the legnth.  The old yard where we played sat behind the three room school house.  The Catholic grammer school was housed in an old Victorian structure with the upstairs serving  as a  home to the nuns.  The playground equipment was made of metal, more metal, and then heavy duty metal.  You did not want to get a lip or a tongue stuck on any part of it during the winter months. We had the sliding board, two swing sets, and the creme de la creme of the yard, the envy of all the public school kids.....the merry-go-round!  Not just any merry go round, but the Monster of all Merry go Rounds. It was a bell type structure of engineering genius which not only went around in a circle, but also tilted wildly on the axis so the effect was a death defying up and down at 90 degree angles while going around and around at 100 miles per hour.

When the bell rang and everyone rushed out to the play ground, usually the older boys leaped on the Beast ahead of everyone else.  It was divided off into eight sections and eight boys would stand and begin the ride.  We were allowed on after. That is if one of us wasn't selected, put in the middle and made to dodge the mad thrust of the Beast.  Needless to say, lots of injuries.  This was a different time.  If you weren't bleeding, and nothing was broken, you were tossed aside and another victim took your place.

Another game was to pack as many "little" kids as possible on it, about three to a section,  thats a lot of little bodies. The Beast was run around and around until it picked up enough speed that the small bodies began flying through the air! .

I left home when I finished high school.  When I returned and would find myself close to the school yard, I would coax someone to climb on the Merry go Round with me and close my eyes, and begin to make that thing sing.

It was "retired" in the eighties.  Some kid broke his arm and it was deemed too dangerous for children.  70 years and many  generations just must have been tougher back then.


sonensmilinmon said...

I had to laugh when you mentioned not sticking your lips or tongue near the metal slides. I moved from CA to IN and that same summer another family returned from CA to IN .. both our fathers grew up there and now had kids who had never been in snow. Another kid who was raised in IN dared us to lick the slide ~ eww gross, I didn't. Leo on the other hand!!! His screams and tears were enough for me!!

micheleandres said...

What fun memories. We were tougher back then. All the playgrounds around me now have that rubber flooring around all the equipment. I'm glad though, since mom's like me are sissys about their babies getting bumped.

slowmotionlife said...

I'm thinking you could get splinters in your backside from one of those. That looks like a lawsuit waiting to happen in this day & age. LOL Great entry. A look into the past. :)

karynetaylor said...

we were tougher and no one had lawyers!!

~ Karyn

lotzamoe said...

Our playgroung had one. We poured water down it until it froze, then we used it as a ski jump. We didn't have "sneakers" only hard soled dress shoes which slid like greased lightning. Each kid marked how far he slid. We never got hurt. Kids today are pansy loving nancy-boys compared to us. Thanks for the memories.

krobbie67 said...

Thanks for the Merry-go-round memories. It makes me want to jump on one right now. :-)

garyvp said...

Nice memory. Yeah we all think we were tougher. I don't know. My 2 1/2 year old is a pretty tough little guy--so far.

sunflowerkat321 said...

This was a great memory. I remember being both dragged by and flung from one of these monsters. And then there was the kid who would always barf. I remember those metal slides too. In our dresses we always got stuck. And it it was HOT...YOUCH! - Kat