Summer Project: The Tire Swing

The Daughter has loved swings since infancy.

Throughout her baby and toddler hood, we had an old-fashioned wooden bench swing on our front porch.  Coming home for her meant climbing the front steps and immediately plopping on the swing, and asking for a push, with just the sweetest smile. It’s a nice memory now.  At the time it was sometimes frustrating, particularly when one had arms full of groceries.

When I decided to put furniture on the front porch we took the swing down in order to fit a nice grouping of chairs and a table.  The Daughter was NOT a fan of this plan, and to appease her, #1 Son promised to put the swing up in the holly tree in the backyard.  In the spirit of fraternal love and devotion, he did so, but over time, with lots of use, the rope frayed.  And it was difficult to keep the swing parallel to the ground  since holly branches don’t typically grow straight out.  Eventually, The Daughter ended up putting together a swing with a large stick and a rope, and then a piece of wood and a rope.  Each would last a while, but eventually fall apart, sometimes with bruising effect.

Papa Gene’s consternation mounted, as did that of The Daughter, albeit for different reasons.  Papa Gene had a spare piece of chain in the barn. Mr. Garner knew of a tire in the garage, and searched for some plans on the internet.  A drill, a few bolts, a piece of rubber hose, Papa Gene’s chain and a summer-afternoon-Father-Daughter-project has yielded a secure and hopefully lasting tire swing!

A few photos:


Want some instructions?  We recommend this article:  How to make a tire swing! from Instructables.

Oh, and here’s a summer classic from Jimmy Buffet…

I remember the smell
Of the creosote plant
When we had to eat on Easter
With my crazy old uncle and aunt

They lived in a big house
Antebellum style
And the wind would blow across the old bayou
When I was a tranquil little child

Life was just a tire swing
Jambalaya is the only song I could sing
Blackberry picking, eating fried chicken
Never knew a thing about pain
Life was just a tire swing…

In the early summer
My folks packed me off to camp
Me and my cousin Baxter
And our pup tent with a lamp.
But in a few days Baxter went home
And left me by myself
But I knew that I’d stay, It was better that way
And I could get along without any help.

Life was just a tire swing
Jambalaya was the only song I could sing
Chasing after sparrows with rubber tipped arrows
Knowing, I could never hurt a thing
Life was just a tire swing..,

And I’ve never been
West of New Orleans or East of Pensacola
My only contact with the outside world
Was an RCA Victrola
Then Elvis would sing
And then I’d dream about expensive cars
Who would have figured, that twenty years later
I’d be rubbing shoulders with the stars

Life is just a tire swing

In the early morning, on an Illinois road
I fell asleep at the wheel
But was quickly waken up
By a Ma Bell telephone pole
A bunch of Grant wood faces screaming
Is he still alive?
But through the window I could see it hanging from the tree
And I knew that I had survived.

Life is still a tire swing
Jambalaya is the best song I can sing
Blackberry picking, eating fried chicken
Though, I finally learned a lot about pain
Life is just a tire swing…

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