On my way up to Fort McClellan this morning, I passed by an elementary school. The children were outside playing with the well-regarded playground parachute. I could tell because of the blue, red, and yellow colors. Bringing that thing out during PE was the thrill of the day when I was their age. That brings me to this week’s moment in the Flashback Friday series: the playground parachute.
How I first came across this moment? I first came across the playground parachute when I was a student at Elyton Elementary School. As far as I can remember, it was 4th grade when I discovered the most awesome activity in physical education class. The instructor—a friendly, middle-aged guy named Larry Duncan whom we called Coach Duncan—brought it out and we played the classic parachute games of Mushroom and Waves.
What it meant to me then? In the moment, I was super thrilled. I had seen parachutes on television before but nothing in real life and certainly nothing like the playground parachute.
What it means to me now? I haven’t played with the playground parachute since the spring term of my 5th grade year. We’re talking 20 years. I haven’t had much reason to do so either. But, I do have a young niece and one of these days, she’ll be in elementary school. Maybe I’ll surprise her and show up and play with her class at PE…on a day where they have the playground parachute out and about. Or maybe I’ll just buy one and keep it for my first born and bring it out for their birthday or something. Either way, I’m still fascinated by the playground parachute. It’s probably one of the most legendary activities in grade school.