Monday, May 28, 2012
When my kids were young, once a year, toward the end of summer, we had a day we called Playground Day. We would pack a picnic lunch and lots of snacks and sports equipment and set out early in the morning to visit all the playgrounds in town. Back in those days each playground was different. The one at the school was one of those amazing wooden labyrinth structures. The one at Barker Playground had a tall metal slide. Gardner Street Playground was their favorite with its curly slide and wooden merry-go-round. By the time we got home in the late afternoon, we were hot and tired but happy. When I was out walking today, I saw that the village has recently installed a new playground on the Hamlet Street side of Russell Joy Park. It looks just like all the other playgrounds in town. I know the wooden playground was prone to yellow jackets and splinters. I know the steps to the tall metal slides were steep and the slides got hot in the sun. And I know kids sometimes tumbled off the merry-go-round when it got going too fast and they weren't holding on tightly enough. I also know the new playground equipment is probably more durable, as well as safer. But I miss the old playgrounds with all their variety, and I sure do miss our old Playground Days.