Was the real exercise on mid-century playgrounds one of population control?

A few years ago, a bounce house in Arizona blew away like in “The Wizard of Oz,” injuring 2 children. When a gust of wind lifted the bounce house about 80 feet in the air, it dumped a 9-year- old girl out on the yard. Her 11-year-old sister landed on the roof of a house two doors down. Maan – and to think, they did away with the steel jungle gyms and monkey bars of MY generation, because they were “too dangerous.”
A Fscebook friend reminded me we wore dresses when playing on the equipment. But, of course – dresses were the only school day attire option in those days. Therefore, if a recreational feat requiring any degree of inversion was attempted, unless one wore either tights shorts under the dress, it was: “I see London, I see France…”
I’m not saying the likes of jungle gyms, monkey bars, and spin-fast-’til-you-puke merry-go-rounds were safe. More than a few busted lips, chipped teeth, broken limbs, and skinned knees were the wages of recess. Baby boomer playground equipment, like the adjacent, very asbestos-based, lead-laden school buildings where we were educated, may, indeed, have been designed to “reduce the surplus population,” as Ebeneezer Scrooge would say.

Maybe the mid-century playground was just another facet of natural selection – survival of the fittest. Perhaps those who designed them to thin our ranks thought: 

“If they live through this, the next phase is the draft and Viet Nam war...” 

   

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About nancsue

Writer - Former newspaper columnist - lover of all things nostalgic, collies, music, humor, and ever grateful to those who defend American citizens at home and abroad.
This entry was posted in 1960s, americana, Baby Boomers, cultural history, Growing up, Humor, mid-centurians and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Was the real exercise on mid-century playgrounds one of population control?

  1. nancsue says:

    Reblogged this on Nancsue's Blog and commented:

    Surviving a Boomer childhood.

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