The month of May brings to life many memories- In May we have May Day. Not many people still recognize this tradition. When I went to school in Wilmore - we had the Halloween Carnival and the Coldwater School celebrated May Day. Sometimes Mom would take me to the Grade School to watch the winding of the Maypole. I thought that it was a beautiful program with all of the pretty ribbons and the singing. It made quite an impression on me.
The maypole made me think of the pole that was on the Coldwater Grade School playground. The pole stuck out of the ground at least twelve feet. Of course, I was small so it might have not been that tall, but seemed like it was. I think that maybe it was an axle of some sort. It had several chains hanging from the top, at the end of each chain there were 2 handles of horizontal pipe that one was probably 6 inches above the other. I remember watching kids play with device one time while I was waiting for Vickie to get out of the high school. I was sitting outside of the playground on a bench waiting for school to get out so I could ride the bus home with Vickie. I think that I only did this one time and I can not remember what the circumstances were that I was allowed to ride home with my sister. I was really scared as I sat there- but while I was waiting, the lower grades was having recess. Those kids were having such fun on the playground equipment. That pole with all of the chains was a little brutal, but they had such fun on it. You could get several kids one per chain they would grab on to the handles and start running slow at first then faster and faster until they were airborne. Now they were not airborne long as someone would either fall off or they needed to stop. If they just needed to stop that was not so bad, but if they had fallen, they would get trampled, and when not if they let go of the chain it would, of course be flying and would hit you in the back of the head. It was terribly painful, but that piece of equipment was one of everyone’s favorite. Kind of makes you wonder - why? When I went to Jr. High in Coldwater as Wilmore was closed I got to play on it. I learned pretty quickly that it was important to have a person per chain. If there was a loose chain swinging, it could very well have been lethal. But that did not stop us; it was as much fun as I thought it would be, when I was watching as a little girl.
Another thing on the playground that they on longer have are old tires. Tires were great fun especially if they were large enough to crawl into and have someone else roll you down a hill. Oh, boy! If you could stay in it to the bottom, you were really ‘cool’. Remember the teeter-totters? I can remember giving and getting bounces on those long boards. Sometimes the bell would ring and the kid on the bottom would get off and send you to the ground just a little quicker than you would like. I can still remember the board and the ground meeting and it seemed that the ground shook. If that would happen to me now… Oh, I do not even want to think about it.
I loved the merry-go-rounds. In Wilmore we had two; one we pushed from the outside of the merry-go-round and the other we pushed from the inside. The first one was what the littler kids used, but the one that we pushed from the inside was awesome. We could get at least three kids to push really fast and I thought that we just might fly off into outer space. I always thought that it looked like a flying saucer.
Kids now do not have the same playground that we had because it has been deemed unsafe. But what fun we had playing on those contraptions. I am sure Moms did not appreciate the tire marks, dirt and blood on our clothes. But the clothes washed and we healed up, and were ready to go again. I guess, I can tell I am getting older as these memories seem like the good old days.