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Swinging Abby Part 9: Bubblegum Afternoons

Reporters, TV, radio, visitors, spectacles, free food, kudos, ovations and obstacles. Those are the things that stand out in memories and memoirs of my two weeks on a swing.
 
But the majority of the time spent in the park was none of these things. It was the endless hours from which the word "endurance" gets its meaning in the term "endurance record". Hours when no visitors came. Hours when even my family wasn't there. Hours of chewing strawberry-flavored bubblegum to avoid boredom-induced snacking, watching strangers play tennis on the court nearby, and counting the cars passing on River Street. Hours of back-and-forth and back-and-forth that seemed to drag on for forever, watching the watch count down to the next five minute break during which at the very least I could stand somewhere else and see the park from a different point of reference.
 
Mundane things stood out as highly entertaining. A random snippet of memoir entries:

I entertained myself by singing Ob-La-Di Ob-La-Da, although it wasn't quite the same without the Beatles singing along with me.
 
I remember watching a little kid from Athens by the name of Shawn Rosh sign his name in the logbook in big kindergarten-scrawl letters, and his father having to write in his last name.

Shawn Rosh logbook entry.
I still remember it, and can even find it in the logbook.

And there was one moment of a scare during which I thought I was going to lose the swing. How I happened to look up and see the bolt working its way loose I have no idea, but had I not the entire thing would have ended with a nasty bump! The incident made the news, along with…what else, a bubblegum photograph.

Blowing bubbles.
This made the door of my orthodontist's office and got me a lecture about braces and gum. Oh, and my sister's opinion of me hasn't changed much over the years. Ha!

 
But mostly I was just marking time. Lots of it. Two more entries that pretty much sum up the average day:
 
Tuesday the 28th. After the usual morning confusion, I was back in the familiar seat at 6:30. Not much happened that morning. Not too many unusual visitors either. I thought this was going to be a long day.
 

Making braids.
Morning grooming - putting the hair in order. This will keep me busy for a few minutes!

It rained and rained and rained…back and forth, back and forth. The monotonous sound of rain, a steadily growing pond beneath the swing, watching Dave talk to my dad…how many more minutes until my break?
 
These were the hours when those folks known as "The Regulars" made their presence indispensible. Some were there constantly, some were just daily visitors. But they kept up my spirits and helped out whenever and however they could. Next time we'll take a look at these important people behind the scenes. In the meantime, here's a great photo of a typical bubblegum afternoon of swing, sun and sidekicks.

Bubblegum afternoon.
Pat Geiger and Tracy Cole hang out on the monkey bars while Dad (his right foot visible) sits with me under the tarp.