Let us, please, have a moment of silence, for all of the Wooden Playgrounds that are no longer with us.

Our childhoods (well, those of us between the ages of 20 and 40) were shaped by the existence of these majestic works of playground equipment.

From the tiny token park playground, to the sprawling expanse of the ever present Elementary School playground, these massive beasts were the home of our fun.

Never again will we be able to play "Don't touch the gravel tag". Never again will so many splinters be gained for such a worthy cause.

Never will I shelter from the rain in a place so utterly dedicated to the rough hewn nature of kid-ness.

Running and tumbling across wooden playgrounds were perhaps the best moments I shared most with my younger all other times enemies, at this period I was merely the pupil, following in careful amazement as he launched himself across the wooden carcass of the playground, its bones and hide his eternal jungle, the realm of his mastery as we played, as we hid, as we captured.

What have they left us now? Tiny islands of metal and plastic, where no purchase may be found for scrambling fingers, where there is certainly no risk of injury...for there is no risk present or possible.

How can we play here? The tire swings are gone, the swinging bridges, the monkey bars...this entire sculpture of the epitome of fun has been stolen, robbed, killed in it's prime by the evil empire of responsible parents who sought to protect all of us from their deepest, darkest fears...and in doing so, robbed us of a measure of our dreams, and our memories.

We are indeed safe. But the fun we pass on to our children, our younger siblings, our nephews and a neutered, gray tomcat, a mere shadow of our former glories. They may have Ever Quest, but they will never know the glories we once beheld.