Baboon Pirates

Scribbles and Scrawls from an unrepentant swashbuckling primate.

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Location: Texas, United States

Saturday, December 03, 2011

The Swing Has Swung...

Sic Transit Gloria Confinio

An unpleasant surprise this week.

(Click pic to embiggify, it's a little dark at this size)

The tree swing that's been a fixture of the cul de sac for years has collapsed.

My next door neighbor Greg built it out of 4x4s, lag bolts and heavy chain back when his kids were in diapers. He & his wife Pat would sit out there in the evenings as their kids ran & shrieked. All of the neighbors had a sit out there from time to time, myself included.

Greg died of cancer years later, but the swing still remained, and the kids just kept growing up. Eventually, Pat & Greg's kids brought their own crop of youngsters into the world, and they got bottle-fed and rocked out under the oak tree as well.

Even my nephew Sammy & niece Grace got in on the fun. The swing was getting a little rickety, and the backrest was mostly gone. Sammy took a spill off the back, and barely avoided getting a leg fractured when it got caught in a gap while the heavy thing was still swinging.

The swing's days were numbered. Sometime between now & next summer, they'll plow up the pavement, put in storm drains and sidewalks, and pave over the cul de sac. The tree won't survive the process, and the ensuing lack of shade will change the character of the cul de sac forever. I'm lobbying hard to get the City to alter the plans to avoid a solid span of concrete and allow another tree to be planted, but it's an uphill battle.

Perhaps sensing it was time to gracefully depart, the tree & swing made their own choice. We discovered the swing had collapsed during the night, the branch that had held it for so many years had cracked clean through.

I'd like to think there was an understanding between the tree and the swing to part company while no one was aboard to get hurt. Certainly the timing was fortuitous.

So long, swing! You'll be missed!