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 survived.....kids just must have been tougher back then.