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Not many playgrounds have seesaws anymore (I only located a couple in my area and one of them had only individual tot-sized ones). Fortunately, two large, lovely, creaky old metal sets remain at Stage Fort Park in Gloucester, albeit with some (ridiculous) modifications.  

“Old Yellah” (Seesaw, Stage Fort Park) Playground Series (#12), Nikon D300, 50mm, F/6.3, 1/400s, +0.3EV, ISO 250, ‘Old West’ Toning Action

Not understanding why each set only contained a few seesaws when there was clearly room for more, I spoke with the Salem Director of Park, Recreation and Community Services who explained that nowadays, each individual seesaw has to be spaced such that riders cannot be within arms reach of adjacent riders.

So, to make the old girls conform to the safety restrictions (rather than replace or eliminate the equipment altogether), every other seesaw was removed. In addition, to prevent any rider from bumping their rump on the ground if (and when) their riding partner decides to jump off without warning, rubber tires have been buried part-way into the dirt right under each end.  


The deeper I delve into this series, the more amazed I am that I survived childhood. I mean, look at all the dangers I faced! Thank goodness my parents took the time to teach me the ways of the world all the while allowing me the freedom to enjoy taking a little risk – even if it meant getting a boo boo.  

Thanks mom & dad! 🙂



  1. I am obviously biased, but I love the series and love hearing more about your childhood and how it shaped you into the person you are today.

    Good thing your parents don’t know about you picking strange gum up off the street and chewing it for hours. Wait a minute…

    • Thanks, honey! Yes, I suppose you are biased. Just a wee bit. 🙂

      Hey! I only did that once and I was maybe, 3 or 4 at the time, and when my mom found out, she immediately had me spit it out (she’s good) and made me promise to never do it again! Geesh! Like you never ate dirt or paste or anything gross as a kid. He who throws stones…. 😉

      • Eewwww!! That’s just gross! LOL
        Great photo! The angle you chose makes you want to jump right on.

      • Ha! I know. But I refuse to apologize for something I did as a child! 🙂

        Thanks! I’ve been trying to approach these from the viewpoint of a child. And THAT is exactly the angle I was going for!

  2. Needless to say kiddo it did add to my grey hairs.

    • Ha! Perhaps, but I’m sure not more than the time, (I think it was Michael?), who came home with the, ahem, unusual ‘balloon’ he’d found? 🙂

        • Gloria Piela
        • Posted March 27, 2010 at 2:02 pm
        • Permalink

        True, but the worst was when Lori opened up your forehead with a golf club.

  3. Super photo.

  4. I’m really enjoying your playground series Tracy! Actually, I am enjoying your entire blog. I’m kinda late for the party here, but it sure is great catching up.:-) Your photography is inspiring!

    • Hi Carol! Thank you so very, very much! Better late than never, I say. 🙂 Lots to see here, I hope you come back – heck why not subscribe? I won’t bite!

      Took a peek at both your website and 365 blog – nice stuff! I’ll be following your journey! Take care and happy shooting! 🙂

  5. Fine photo. The selective focus on the leading edge and bar looks really good, the background gives context, crop puts the whole nicely off-balance.

    Great story, too.

  6. Love the angle.

    • Thank you. I’ve been really pleased with the whole series so far!

  7. Hi there! Just come across these fantastic photos on the swing and the sea-saw from a google search! Great stuff. I’m a poet and I wonder if you’d be willing to let me use them for a poem I’m writing? It would just be for my poetry blog and I’m assuming that the stirrings I’m feeling will work into fully fledged inspiration.

    I would credit and link of course!

    Well done, and so let me know, kenny.

    • Hi there, Kenny! Glad you are digging the series. It was fun to do. 🙂

      I checked out your poetry and you are talented! I don’t have an issue with you using an image, but I do have a few rules.

      1. I’d like to read the poem first. I just wouldn’t want an image associated with any subject matter I don’t support or feel comfortable with.
      2. Please let me know which image(s) specifically you want to use.
      3. The images must not be altered in any way or the watermark removed in your posting.
      4. Yes, please credit and provide a link back. Since these images are part of a series, have been published in a book and are in the process of being considered for a gallery show, the credit line should be as follows:

      [image name] by Tracy L. Milkay from her book ‘Child’s Play: Photographs of Vanishing Vintage Playgrounds’

      Thanks! 🙂

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