Thursday, April 16, 2015

An Old Swing

My wife's Uncle Duane lives in the heart of Amish country. He always has great stories to share with me every time I talk to him. He and his sons baled and/or sold hay to every Amish family for miles around. I stopped over to visit him the other day and three of his grandsons were there putting up a swing. They had a very interesting story about this swing and I thought I should share it with all of you. Duane explained that this frame was designed to be a hoist. They would drive a team of horses through this frame and a pulley at the top would be used with a rope to hoist up the front end of a grain wagon, to unload it. After they quit using the frame as a hoist (a very long time ago) they decided to use it for a swing.
The old frame accidentally got bent a short time ago by a tractor. Duane's grandson's didn't want to see the old swing gone... so one of them welded an exact replica of the old hoist.(The guy you can see kneeling down near the frame.) His son is the little guy taking the first ride in the new swing. If you look really close, you can see the old hoist laying on the ground behind Uncle Duane. This is where the story gets really interesting, to me. When the three grandsons dug down to the old cement footing, to attach the new frame they made an fun discovery. There were names written in the cement.

These young men found their grandmother Marilyn's name written in the concrete along with three of her other siblings names. The baby of their family didn't write her name... so we have an idea of how long ago this footing was set. Aunt Marilyn passed away a few years ago, and this was the farm she grew up on. I think it is cute to see her child-like signature (which she happened to misspell, there is an extra i in there.) Someone drew lines between the names, Rodney, Howard, Marilyn, and Linda.
Uncle Duane's great-grandson will be the Fourth generation to play on this swing, that is set on an old grain-wagon hoist. You can see the footing with the names in this picture. Uncle Duane has a great family. I'm very impressed that his grandson went to all the effort to make an exact replica of the old hoist. And, that his grandsons took the time to come set it in place and keep the family traditions going. They were rewarded for their efforts, with a connection to their grandma. A set of autographs that lay hidden under the soil for around 75 years!

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