Monday, December 02, 2013

Part the Sixth



 

Tuxedo Park was about a two-mile drive from our house.


 
 
 
Mrs Hefner often took Tommy and I along when she took Pam (the Hefner’s younger daughter, the middle child) to ballet lessons at the Bartlesville Lions Club.
 
 
 
 
While Mrs Hefner and Pam were busy in there, Tommy and I had the run of the park.  Here’s an overhead shot:
 
 
 
In this photo, the light-brown areas are bordered and pebble-filled -- NOWADAYS.  In the good ol’ times of the 1960s, the entire area was just prairie grass trying to hold its own against the pounding Keds or PF Flyers of the thundering multitudes of the luckiest generation ever.
 
The sandy-colored area in the top right, closest to the two cars, wasn’t there in those ancient times.  It’s an newer addition, a “safe” playground, vide below.


 

If you stood at the north edge of the “new playground” -- the top of the photo -- and took a picture facing south (downwards in the overhead view) -- you would see ALL THE GOOD STUFF in the background.

 

Going south from that vantage point, you can see the next light-colored patch with three yellow lines.  Those are teeter-totters.  They’re actual planks of wood that you can fall off of and crack your noggin on the ground.

 

Directly south is the slide.  The slide is at the far left edge of the “new playground” photo.  As you can see in that profile shot, the slide has a slight “bump” in it.  That bump was the bane of sissy boys and timid girls, because it seemed to threaten the chance of getting bucked off when you hit it going down.

 

(I may have been the only person to have actually fallen off from that modest height.  It only happened once … and since I landed on my head, no lasting damage was done, except to the ground.)

 

Proceeding south (downwards in the overhead shot) towards Tuxedo Boulevard, you can see two sand-colored rectangles on the left and a round area on their right, almost between them.  The two rectangles are swing sets; the circular area is the merry-go-round.

 

That merry-go-round is fantastic in its construction, made like a Maypole in steel.

 
In September of 2009, Joyce and I were privileged to take our oldest grandchild, Jazra, with us on an overnight stay.  We took a few jaunts down my Memory Lane.  Of course, part of the time was spent at Tuxedo Park!
 
 
Here’s Jazra on the teeter-totters.
 

Here is the slide.  As you can tell, it’s about twelve feet high, and only scary for toddlers and whiny-piny-puddin’ types.  Note that Jazra, being more coordinated than I was, has no problem making it to the bottom of the slide intact.
 

 
 
These last two photos were taken from the swing set area, looking northeast at the wondrous merry-go-round.  That thing has been there since the 1960s.  The lady in blue with Jazra is my own heart, wife Joyce.
 
If you take a look at the overhead photo, the light-colored diagonal line in the corner of the grass towards the bottom right is  the “Tuxedo Park” sign.
 
 I would like you to take a second glance at these photos and observe the good state of upkeep on the metal equipment.  Generations of Lions Club members and their families have performed upkeep.  I imagine it involves sanding, painting, and maybe the greasing-up of items.  I would expect that in the last forty or fifty years, those wooden teeter-totters may have had to be replaced.
 
But it’s been done, so that generations of kids could play.  This is a wonderful public service that only now, as an adult, I can appreciate.
 

See you Thursday with some Christmas music.

    

 


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