Monday, February 18, 2008

GIANT STRIDES!

My sister Rebecca and I were driving home from Logan last night and reminiscing about hazardous playground equipment. One that came to mind was our personal favorite the Giant stride. (I called this giant strikes thanks Bec for helping me out some 20 years later.) As we compared notes our memories were almost identical.
1) Two bars are better than one.
2) Smell of dirty metal
3) Blisters on the fatty parts of the hands right under the fingers.
4) Being launched into space
5) Hanging on and praying that you don’t fling off and skid across the pavement and gravel
6) Wrapping your chain around all the other chains launching you into a superman flight and having a tall friend to push you over even higher. (note to self avoid button up shirts.)
7) G-O Go Low-way or G-O Go high-way.
As we compared notes we found that this goes back for generations. Our mom has many of the same memories. It is a wonder that we all haven’t been killed off by the Giant Strides (not strikes)
We got home late but I still had to search Google for a Picture for those who did not get to experience this great childhood memory. Rebecca and I both think that the middle pole was much taller than the one in this picture. Maybe even 2 times taller.

19 comments:

Trenda Poulter said...

I don't think I ever had the privilage of using that type of playground equipment . . . must be an idaho thing! LOL! I love your background. Those were my wedding colors. Where did you find it?

Robin and Stephenie said...

I know it wasn't just an idaho thing.... I thought maybe a farmer made it up or something but I found it on the web. I found this background on http://www.cutestblogontheblock.blogspot.com/ it is really cute and super easy.

CHENEY'S said...

Oh Steph!! I loved the Giant Strikes (I called them) I have all the same old memories as you do. I'm surprised that you found a picture. It looks like it was taken when the school first opened back in the early 1900's.(right?) I remember racing to get the perfect bar so I could fly. No wonder they took them down, I landed in the gravel/pavement one too many times.

What about the witches hat?? Not as fun, but amusing. Or the lilac bushes where we all got married at lunch.

Gotta love Rigby!!

Robin and Stephenie said...

This wasn't the picture of the real giant strides. I just googled it to find one.

Kristin and Jay said...

K so where did I go to school? I cannot remember this fun looking thing. I was going to comment on the Witches Hat, like Shana, but I don't remember this. What school was it at? Kinghorn or Harwood? I am so confused. But it looks really fun =)

Anonymous said...

I thought they were "giant strikes" too... things aren't looking so good for the class of '98! They were at Kinghorn, and the witches hat was at the park across the street. I remember playing in that giant patch of thorny bushes a lot, telling scary stories!

Ferrel Family said...

I totally remember the "Giant Strikes" as I called them. Exact same memories. I think one time my life flashed before my eyes as I was about level with the top and my hands were slipping. Somehow I didn't fall off because I am still here today. Yes, I remember them being taller as well. Maybe we were just smaller :)

Posture said...

I waqs just talking about the "giant strikes" with some friends the other day, so I googled it and found your blog. In Wausau, Wisconsin (I'm class of 1992) we loved these things. A couple of memories:

1. only girls played on them. I do not remember a single boy on the giant strikes.

2. at recess, we ran out onto the playground as fast as we could and "called" a place. If you didn't get a place, you could take turns sharing a bar with a bud.

3. There were three bars .... something about where you held on ... like, if you held on to the two higher bars, you flew higher in the air?


Good blog, thanks.

nancyA said...

I loved the giant strides; spent many hours on them in 50's...does anyone know where they're still standing (I'd drive miles to play on them one more time...)?

Anonymous said...

Hi, just googled "giant strides" because my grandma was talking about playing on one when she was in school back in the 30s in Kansas and found you blog. She said it's a wonder they weren't all killed. She tried to describe what it looked like to me so I'm glad to see the picture you have. Sounds like great fun! I guess it's no wonder you don't see them anymore in this "safety conscious" age!
Thanks, Shannon

Grandma said...

I lived in Oklahoma and in the 30's our little one room school house had one on the playground. It was my favorite playground equipment. We called it Johnny Strikes. I guess it sort of sounds like Giant Strides.

Grandma said...

I lived in Oklahoma and in the 30's our little one room school house had one on the playground. It was my favorite playground equipment. We called it Johnny Strikes. I guess it sort of sounds like Giant Strides.

Cathy said...

OHG Can't believe I found this site! I grew up in Eliot, Maine and we had a strides on our playground at school. But is was WAY smaller than the one in this picture! Only about 6 or 8 kids could ride on it at once. I remember the same things: the grey whatever left on your hands after you used it, the smell of the metal, running and kicking off and flying way up in the air, flinging yourself and others around! Waiting for a turn because they were so much fun. Thank you so much for posting this site!!

Danny said...

Trivia: Giant strides were the first playground equipment to earn an official safety warning.

Jacob said...

Ok ... You sissy's ... LOL... We had Giant Strides on our playground and I would take my chain...wrap it across the top of all the other kids chains as many times as I could... I would place my elbow through the chains ... over the bar making my support my armpit and my hand on the chain. The other kids would take off running... And I would take off flying... become horizontal to the ground and allowing me to see the top of the pole many times... MAN THAT WAS FUN !! The only danger for me was coming back down into all of the flying handles that the other kids had jumped off of... Sometimes a trip to the nurses office...But always... Back to the GIANT STRIDE !!

Nina said...

When I was in Switzerland in 1990 I was EXSTACTIC to find an adult-sized maypole. Ah, the feeling of flying again! My feet flew over grown men's heads. It is worth the trip. Google Giessbach - an old English inn in Switzerland not too far from Bern.

Paul Beck said...

We had one at Clallam Bay WA. It was excellent!!

Kathy L said...

So happy to find the photo of a Giant Strides. I'm working with a group to restore an Iowa one-room schoolhouse and the pole remains but none of us knew what they looked like.

Jeff said...

A functional Giant Stride is at the Reed School historic site, east of Neillsville Wisconsin. My daughter and I enjoyed swinging on it!