The swing set was one of the most popular apparati on the Lemon Avenue lower playground. Since it was in high demand those supervising us decided that if you wanted to use the swingset and it was fully occupied you must stand in front of your desired swing and count to 100. After reaching one-hundred the person swinging was expected to get off the swings and leave, or count to 100 in front of someone else.
This system was unfair for two reasons. The “counter” could stand in front of anybody he or she chooses. So, if you just got on and Susie has been swinging for five minutes you have to get off because the “counter” arbitrarily (or on purpose) chose you. Secondly, the adults felt sorry for those that hadn’t learned to count to 100 and rather than seizing the moment for an educational opportunity told them that they could count to ten 10 times. Even as an elementary schooler I was constructing a logical argument for why these actions where unequivalent because of the number of syllables but the adults would not hear it.
However, the true fun came when the adults were not watching. It started by jumping off the swings rather than slowing to a stop. Then wewere trying to jump higher and further. We started twisting, and standing on the swing, then standing and turning around to sit backwards. Then there was Ryan Dahl. First, he figured out he could hang upside down on the swing gripping the chains with his legs. Then he did something really shocking he combined this action of swinging upside down with a jump and did a sort of half-flip realese. The boy was a swing set acrobatic genious.
He inspired us all. We swung, and twisted, and flipped, and jumped, and dreamed… Dreamed of one day going all the way over the bar.