Monday, October 05, 2015

The Old Log Swing

Photo of the Log Swing gets many responses on Facebook

[Editor]  I posted this photo on Facebook on September 17th and was surprised at the number of responses it received.  It has been viewed by 2,113 people!

The original post with the photo:  I was looking at the Odebolt History Pages and ran across this photo of "the log" from the playground at Odebolt school. The photo is from Joan (Lundell) Paup. Many of you won't recognize it, but it used to be a big deal on the playground. To the left is the OLD school, long gone, and the original high school is in the background. We used to get on it 7 or 8 at a time and the big kids would push it. If no one ever got injured by it, it was a miracle! Very dangerous, but so much fun!

Here are some comments (people's names removed).

I certainly remember this from my grade school years. That log swing was a major challenge!! Lots of fun though!

The challenge was to jump on it while it was swinging! You didn't want to miss!! AAAAHHHH the days when I could actually jump that high!

Sure, I remember the log. I also remember that occasionally kids got big slivers from it. It was really a unique playground thing.Too bad you don't still have it for historical value.

We lived across the street when I was in high school for a couple years, loved that swing.

Who could ever forget the log!

I remember it well!
Much too dangerous for today's kids.

It is a wonder that no one was killed on the log swing. I was on it one time when some bigger kids had it going high and I could hang on in fear.

Sooo dangerous and soooo exciting!!!

Dad, Class of 1940, told us of a prank he and some other kids pulled with this log swing. The Supt. back then was Mr. Coon and his daughter June, was one of his classmates. She got her Dad's keys to the school and that night, they stole a cow from Mr. Peterson's pasture next to the school, took down the log and used the cow to pull it into the school.They left the log in the hallway and locked the cow in the Principal's office overnight !!!

I attended Odebolt grade school from about 1937 to 1947 and I remember playing on the log. As I look back; it blows my mind that no one (that I know of) was ever hurt and that the school was never sued. I remember wearing my corderoy knickers and long socks; it was the style.

This thing was hazardous (incredibly fun) and I winder how many kids were maimed by it. If you sat on the end you were pinched by the bars that it swung on, and if you were walking past the end, you could be nailed by the end of the log.

It used to be a very big deal to hop on the log while it was swinging. It was pretty scary getting on as well as getting off while it was swinging. But oh so much fun!

Bonnie is not on Facebook, but sent me the following about the log swing. It includes the origin of the log!  About "The Log"
I remember that a big kid would stand at each end of the log facing each other.  While gripping the cables with their hands, they'd alternately "pump" the log with their legs.  While I was in grade school I think the original log was replaced with a new one, which was really a laminate made of boards glued together.  It was thicker than the original log and not rounded on the bottom.  We'd lie chest-down on the new log, but it was so thick that it was hard stretch our arms and legs far enough to get a good grip at the bottom.  We had to hold on for dear life as the big kids pumped.

In the September 26, 1946 School Chronicle there's an account of a student breaking his arm while playing on the swing after school.

Here's a story about the origin of the log swing:
The Odebolt Chronicle, October 30, 1930

Mr. Adams Gives Grade Pupils New Swing

A unique swing, like one Mr. W. P. Adams saw the children of the Philippines enjoying, has been set up for the pupils of the public schools.  The swing is perhaps unlike any that one has ever seen.  It is a huge log suspended from a framework of steel.  The pupils are truly elated over it, and are showing their gratitude to the donor by their enthusiasm.

No comments:

Post a Comment