February 20, 2009

Woman writes how playgrounds shaped her life

In an article in the Austin American-Statesman, a woman writes about her early childhood spent on the playground, and how that experience shaped the person she is today.

In the 1950s, the playground system in Austin was elaborate, with a playground within walking distance of seemingly every home, and two paid leaders at each one during the summer months. The Parks and Recreation Department offered programs galore for children, teens and adults.

The concrete ping-pong table next to the Little Stacey Park shelter is no longer there, but at the time it inspired a winner-stay-up continuous challenge all day long. There were citywide competitions in most activities, inspiring one of my earliest goals in life: I wanted to go to every tournament in every game — ping-pong, tetherball, box hockey, volleyball, softball, tennis, anything that was going on. I was selected for many, but not all.

How have playgrounds shaped you?

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