It was great that we had a playground at the new location, but what were we going to put on the playground? Who was going to turn an empty space of dirt into something usable and safe for our children????!!!! We had no money!!!!
Not sure how we found it, but think someone told Linda Beste there was something made of wood covered in leaves in the backyard at the little house behind the little white church. Linda went over there and dug around and uncovered what looked like an old swing set. She asked a couple of folks to come take a look and was told it was junk. Linda, coming from a family of carpenters, went to her Dad. He’d had several strokes and could barely get around on a walker but was willing to come take a look. Lo and behold, he said it was redwood and just needed to be sanded, cleaned up and put back together! That’s all she needed to hear and she was off & running! We would have our swing set!
Linda loaded up all the pieces in her van and took it to her garage and unloaded. Now what? She had no clue how to put it together, it was a mess! She started cleaning the top bar up and found the name of the company that made the swing set. This was before the day of the internet, so she dialed 1-800 information, hoping and praying they would have a free 800 # for this company. There was one!!!! Another miracle!!!! She called them up and asked them if they could send her a catalog at no charge. They said they would. While awaiting the catalog, she went to work on sanding the worn out wood. Once she received the catalog she could see how it was all supposed to go together. The slide was a total loss, so she dreamed one up and built it from scratch, using marked down Home Depot counter laminate for the slide! It worked! All this looked great in the garage but it had to get to the Church! Ed Leonard borrowed someone’s truck & came & helped Linda take it to the playground & put it together. We needed an awning so Mary Leonard donated the fabric and Linda sewed it just like it was in the catalog!
This was just one of the amazing playground stories! We had one swing set and nothing else. We had to come up with some other stuff for the kids to play on! Another ‘not sure how this came about’ idea became a reality. Cable spools! Tom Aldon’s company had some extras. Linda picked up the small ones in her van and not sure how we got the large ones to the playground, but we did! Then, it was time to saw them in half, dig holes and sink them for climbing units. 4 of the small ones were placed next to each other, painted yellow & green and became a caterpillar!
Sand boxes were built with donated wood, sand was loaded in. Rocks did have to be purchased for ground cover. They were loaded over the stone wall and everyone worked to spread them out! We made it just in time so that at opening day, we had created something from nothing for our children to play on and enjoy! What a testimony to the can do spirit of those early parishioners!