Ah, the warm weather does a great many things for me. One of them is creating waves of nostalgia. It certainly happens every time I pass by either of my two favorite Owensboro parks when I was a kid.


One of those parks is Legion Park. I drive by that one just about every day; it's right up the road from work. And I always look over at the playground, which, in 2022, is consolidated into one area.

Legion Park Playground
Legion Park Playground

But when I was a kid, Legion Park's playground equipment was spread out all over the place. And I remember them all. There was the witch's hat--you hung on the metal round base and swung around; the swing sets--those strap swings were the best; the merry-go-round, which would send us kinds FLYING in all directions if whoever was doing the spinning was strong enough; and then, of course, the slides.


There were two standard-issue slides and then there was the tornado slide. We had never seen anything like it. And when Legion Park added it to the playground area, the lines to climb on it were like lines you'd see at Holiday World. We would climb to the top and slide down that thing all day long. Give a kid something like that, and he or she will never get bored. I can't seem to find a picture of it online, but the one in this video of Smothers Park is similar. It's practically at the beginning--at the two-second mark.

The old one at Legion Park--who knows where it went--was yellow and was full of graffiti in no time. This is the closest one I could find. Just imagine one more twist at the top. Also the old was made of metal--very HOT metal in the summer.

Swing-n-Slide via Wayfair.com
Swing-n-Slide via Wayfair.com


On the other side of town at Ben Hawes Park, there was the rocket slide. Now, picnicking at Ben Hawes was an ADVENTURE. We could always ride our bikes to Legion; we lived fairly close. But Ben Hawes was too far away for that. And since we didn't visit there as frequently as we did Legion, it was quite an event.

And the main reason was all the rocket-themed playground equipment, the centerpiece of which was the rocket slide.

It had two levels--a short slide and the much taller one. We'd climb up in that thing--it was covered--and just hang out until it was time to eat. It became sort of a clubhouse. Six years ago, I was thrilled to learn that it had not been destroyed but had become part of the Daviess County Fish & Game swim lake. I had to go out there and do a video.

How much fun.

And don't think for one second I wouldn't give either of these slides another go. It's springtime; it's warm. It's TIME.


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