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Swinging Abby Part 13: Mystery of the Missing Swing

So somebody stole my swing. There was now a big gap on the right-hand side of the swing set (or the left, depending on which side you considered to be the front). Where did it go? Did anyone know?
 
I did.
 
The swing had not gone far, actually, and its whereabouts remained unknown only for a few days until its disappearance ended up in the papers.
 

A thief in the family!
Yes, call me an accomplice, I think I held the ladder. Muuuwaaa-ha-haha!....

 
While the swing never did hang in the stairway, it did grace our garage for a short time. In the meantime, although no police report was ever filed, my father HAD actually stolen a piece of city property, and something had to be done about it.
 

Mine mine mine!
Mine! Mine mine mine, all mine.

 
I still remember that meeting, my first time in a big boardroom, sitting on the right-hand side of the big, shiny desk. Everyone there pitched in a few dollars to pay for the swing. It was mine to keep. It was eventually packed away in a box and kept in our garage. I would post a picture of it except…
 
It's gone missing.
 
I can't recall exactly when was the last time I ever saw it, but I do remember it seemed a tired little mess of black rubber and chains, the protective foam shrunken, dried out and brittle with age. I don't have it in my house, and neither do my parents have it in theirs. None of us would ever have just thrown it away. However, we've pieced together a hypothesis as to its fate that I think makes sense: at some point I may have given it back to the city of Athens. Probably around the time I moved to Arizona, when space was at a premium and life had moved on to different things where swinging mementos did not seem so important. When my parents also pulled up stakes to go west, The Sign was left behind for me to reclaim all these years later. But the swing itself had already moved on, a victim of one of those choices one makes which seems ok at the time, but later you go "Why the hell did I do that?!?" Perhaps one day we'll find the wooden board used as a footrest or the towel tied as a back support - because even if I gave the swing back, I'm sure we would've kept SOMETHING from it. But right now the only thing I have of it is pictures and memories. It's ok. When you're physically attached to something as long as I was to that swing, you never forget what it looked and felt like. Never.
 
And when's the last time I actually sat on a big ol' strap swing and flew through the air you ask? Do I avoid it like the plague? Actually, no, it's just difficult to do these days because, as they say "they don't make 'em like they used to". I know the last time was probably 'round about 2005 or 2006. Next to our duplex in Montreal was a public park that had an identical big, tall metal swing set. I remember spending about 20 minutes on it one day, recalling all of this. Then I had to get off, because for the first time ever in my life I was getting seasick! I haven't had an opportunity since then. That park has since been renovated, and the swings are all of the shorter variety now, which seems to be a trend in playgrounds, I've noticed. Probably for safety reasons, but I find it somewhat sad that kids don't know the thrill of swinging as high as the trees. Even if I still had my swing, there is nowhere even in a public park I could hang it and enjoy that feeling. If I ever pass by a park that has such a swingset - tall and majestic, where one feels like they're flying as they try to get even with the top bar, I'll stop and swing. You can count on it.
 
So! With that little Scooby-Doo mystery solved, there's only one more question to be answered. You know what it is. Come back next week for the last installment of the Swinging Abby Saga!