I built this playset virtually by myself way back in 1997.
I borrowed the plans from a friend, then hand-selected the
lumber at Homey D's, had it all delivered to the top of
my driveway in a big pile, and then I cut, drilled, planed,
countersunk, beveled, mitered, and drilled some more.
When all of the pieces were up to specs, I lugged them all
to the backyard building site where, over the course of about
a week, I erected this oasis of recreation, where my girls and
their friends made imaginary phone calls, fought off pirates,
took pizza orders, gazed at the constellations, swung on the
swings, slid down the firemens' pole and yellow sliding board,
and ultimately avoided the rigors of the main building forty feet
away from them. It was a damn good escape from reality.
These are but two of the many family portraits taken at Easter in
our backyard, where there were so many places to hide the eggs
filled with jellybeans or, if they were lucky enough, ones, fives,
tens, or twenties. This photo also shows one of the last Easter
gatherings that my old man (just below me) was able to make.
Rather than taking a crowbar and sledgehammer to start breaking
down the playset, I grabbed my chainsaw and went to work.
I made my cuts only after surveying the structure I'd created sixteen
years earlier, imagining which directions the sections would
fall. I did pretty well, with only one 4X4 falling on top of me.
I thought that I might at one point stop and cry, considering the
memories that continuously coursed through my mind. It didn't
happen. I found out later that our backyard neighbors were
watching me most of the afternoon, and they validated all
of my nostalgic feelings. Betty said they were keeping an eye on
me in case anything might have gone wrong. Nothing did,
but it was good that they were there. It's gonna be weird
the next time I mow the lawn.