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Ready for Liftoff: 1938

Ready for Liftoff: 1938

October 1938. "Playground in Greenhills, Ohio." Medium format negative by John Vachon for the Resettlement Administration. View full size.


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Top of the World Ma

After a day of swimming (One thin dime admission price) at the Clifton Park Pool a park with similar swings was our first stop on the walk home. Nobody ever made the loop which we thought was possible but it was not for lack of effort that we didn't.

After the try to go in orbit it was time for Twisties. Two boys would turn the swing around while the Twistee would patiently wait while making sure he didn't caught in any twist. When it was as tight as it could get the two Twisters would shove the swing as it began it's untwisting. The Twistee got a wild side to side spinning ride which compared to many carnival rides and gave all of us a cheap non-alcoholic high.

After that it was time for Battle Royal in which we all stood on the swings and made them go sideways in hopes we would knock off the boy next to us. Knockoffs very seldom happened but it sure was fun trying.

After about an hour there plus the 4 to 6 hours we spent at the pool we would finally walk the mile and a half home debating the things 10 year old boys always talked about ... Could Batman beat up Superman? Could Captain America cause Spiderman to get caught in his own web? Were Fords better than Chevrolet? Was Gene Autry a better cowboy than Roy Rogers?

Along the mile and half walk home we never got tired and surely loved those happy carefree days.

PS. We were always tired when we had to cut our small postage stamp lawns but if Mister Hancock offered us a quarter to do his we got a surge of energy. Same thing after a snow we were too fatigued to shovel our walk but Mr Hancock's was a snap.

Indulging the kid

The Crown Prince enjoys a cool beverage and two ladies in waiting while the little Wallenda girl goes on her merry way, fearless and free, undeterred by a glass ceiling.

Someone's going to end up crying

In my youth, we did that on a routine basis, and were convinced we could get it all the way around with a little more effort. That was before I got a degree in physics, clearly! That slack chain is going to cause a vertical drop and no rotation, or even further over on her back, followed by a very abrupt shock when it finally comes to the end of the chain, snapping her forward sharply. I know, I did it (about 50 years ago). She will be very lucky to even hold on, maybe going onto the back of her head from about that height.

Swing it!

Looks exactly like the swings they used to have at Alice Keith Park in Beaumont, Texas, hard wood plank seats and all. We would try and swing high enough to get parallel with the top of the frame, and when we got tired, would slow down and get a good jump off the swing into the sand. Of course, you had to scramble out of the way so you wouldn't get bopped in the head by the returning swing seat.

Young risk taker

I guess gravity and centrifugal force kept her feet on the seat. The slack in the chain is worrisome though. Good timing on the picture taking.

Not just for trousers.

The lady on the right is wearing the most peculiar skirt. The waistband is almost up underneath her bust. At first I thought that fabric around her natural waist was the bottom of her shirt, but it looks like a piece of the same fabric that made her shirt, fashioned into a belt of sorts.

I've never seen a high-waisted skirt before. I wonder if it functioned like a girdle to smooth her shape and give her a flatter midsection. You can tell it's all one piece (the skirt) by following that dark seam, possibly a zipper, up from right alongside the knot in her "belt."

Taking Flight

I guess one is flying coach and the other first class.

What a little swinger!

It looks like she could fall and break her neck any second while everyone is just ignoring her!

What a contrast!

From the wild abandon of the flying girl on the left to the doubly-attended young sir on the right receiving drink service on the swing.

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