Archive for the ‘Brackett Park’ Tag

Now That’s a Teeter Totter!

I don’t know where or when this photo was taken, but this is how they used to do it in Minneapolis parks. This is how above-average kids used to play. Kid-powered thrill rides provided the adrenaline rush. And there isn’t a single teeter-totter crash helmet in sight — unless that girl has padding in her bow.

I’ve read every Attorney’s Report in park board annual reports, as well as all attorney reports in park board proceedings since 1904, when playground quipment was first installed in Minneapolis parks, and I don’t recall seeing even one report of a lawsuit over injuries on teeter-totters—or any other playground apparatus. Maybe there were no injuries and it was simply the fear of injuries that caused the teeter-totters to be taken down—or scaled down. It’s been years since I’ve seen one. Do they still exist?

Compare this to the two newest playgrounds in Minneapolis parks at Beard Plaisance and William Berry Park near the Lake Harriet Bandstand. Nice, and big improvements, but pretty tame. My favorite playground equipment is still the stuff at Brackett. First they had the Rocket, and now they have innovative equipment that’s quite unlike other parks.

More importantly, how did moms keep those dresses so white?

If you recognize the location above, or can guess the year, please send a note.

David C. Smith

Minneapolis Park Memory: Best Days of My Life

I grew up in South Minneapolis and enjoyed all the parks especially Minnehaha and the Falls. I have a picture of my Girl Scout Brownie Troop taken there (that would be along time ago). My family has had many wiener roasts at the “deer pen” and several family reunions attended by 80+ people from many different states. We just had one this past August at Wabun Park at the east end of Minnehaha Park. It has recently been remodeled and is a wonderful park.

My best memories have to do with our local neighborhood parks that aren’t necessarily on a tourist’s list, such as Keewaydin, Brackett, Longfellow, Hiawatha and many others. My favorite park was Longfellow, where my husband spent his childhood years skating and playing hockey, football and baseball. He was president of the Longfellow Activities Council for seven years and was a baseball coach. Those were the “good old days” when you could send your kids to the park without worrying about kidnapping and the like.

Activities at the park brought kids and parents together; we were one large family that would be known as a “village” today. Those were the best days of my life.

Shirley Adler

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