Monday, October 10, 2011

Tire Swing

Every kid should have a tire when Lachlan decided he wanted one we looked around to find the right tree. It wasn't easy. Neither his parents nor I have the perfect tree. But in my back yard there is a cedar that leans over (a long ago hurricane almost blew it down). I propped it up with a 4 X 4, and tied a long rope around the trunk high up.

Lachlan and I went to the dump. As luck would have it, they had just that morning hauled off all the old tires. So we went to Jimmy's garage. Jamie took Lachlan out back and let him pick out a used tire.

Back home we trimmed off a few dead branches from the cedar and tied the tire to the rope. We had found the ideal spot.  

Lachlan ran up the lane to tell his friend Gretchen. In a matter of minutes they were back, playing on the tire swing.

"'Tis a gift to be simple."

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is the story of slavery on Ocracoke. You can read it here:


  1. Anonymous8:14 AM

    What luck. Ya'll have a dump. Darn, where I live there is a landfill and they cover up all the good stuff. A dump you say--is there a place where folks leave unwanted good stuff . One man's junk is someone elses treasure-- buried treasure you found it.

  2. Well, it's not exactly a dump like in the old days...a Gehenna of smoldering refuse.

    At our dump most of the trash is deposited in large bins -- cardboard in one, glass and other recyclables in another, househould trash in dumpsters, etc. But you can salvage things like bicylce wheels, gas caps, lawn mower parts, old tires, etc. It is behind the jail. We sometimes call it Jail-Mart.

  3. Anonymous9:37 AM

    Jail-Mart: Wonderful

  4. Anonymous10:58 AM

    Also known as "The Mall."

  5. debbie s.12:41 PM

    LMAO @ jailmart! too funny!

    My kids loved playing on my old tire swing that was at my grandparents house in a HUGE old oak tree (100+ years old).... couple of years ago lightening hit it and it was in danger of falling on their guest house, so they had to have it removed :(

    no good trees for it in my yard - i have a maple thats not right for it, and my crepe myrtles (though very old and very very big) have weak branches to carry that weight....

    hope lachlan and his friends have lots of fun on their new swing!

  6. love tire swings

  7. Anonymous1:30 PM

    Philip, I've been going to Ocracoke fo yeears and I never knew there was a jail! Where exactly is it and more importantly has anybody ever had the pleasure of "spending the night" there? (I'm thinking Mr Bogangles here!) And if so, there's a story (probably involving moonshine) or two!!

  8. Years ago, before the county built a jail on the island, the deputy sheriff would just handcuff drunks and other disorderly people to a tree and let the mosquitoes exact their own form of justice.

    The sheriff's office and jail are at the edge of the village, across the road from Howard's Pub.

    Every now and then someone runs afoul of the law and ends up there. I think it's mostly in the summer...and alcohol is usually involved.

  9. Anonymous3:47 PM

    Philip, you are too much-Skeeter Justice-sounds like a country singing group.

  10. Anonymous4:04 PM

    There are no mosquitos on ocracoke

  11. Well, we might have a and then! Especially years ago before our mosquito control program.

  12. Anonymous6:14 PM

    I've actually been in that jail! Well, actually it was right after it opened years ago. I was a kid and my parents were friend with the sheriff. We got a quick tour!

    Regarding the tire swing: Great picture. What a pleasure to see young ones enjoying the simple pleasures of times past. The world would be a better place if kids would be satisfied with tire swings! I find myself constantly saying, "The would would be better off..." after I read your blog!


  13. Anonymous7:23 PM

    Philip, does the opening of Rte 12 mean that people can now drive to the Hatteras Ferry and then to Ocracoke from the north?

  14. Anon. 7;23 pm -- Yes, that is the way I understand it. For more information please see my post today at 8:03 pm.

  15. Anonymous1:11 AM

    Tires are for cars. Cars need gas. Gas ,well we all know the down side of gas -- I want my life back BP CEO laments. How Crude Some folks Burn tires to get rid of them. Some collect water and Breed mosquitos but the world would be a better place if a child was satisfied with a Tire swing. You must be a Buffett fan that's cool he sung a great song about Life is just a tire swing. or words to that effect. You know, Phillip a book has just been published about Key West and the creative folk that lived there in the 1970s what Creative genius have graced OI --OK here's a shout out to Charles

  16. Anonymous7:53 AM

    Love Lachlan's photo and the tire swing. That grandson of yours has a grand childhood!

    The tire swing story reminds me when folks used tires (especially old large tractor tires) for flower gardens. Some were painted white which were a nice contrast to the pretty vibrant summer flowers. I've seen many tire flower gardens driving along country roads.

    The most unique flower garden, though, I've ever seen, is a commode flower garden just outside of Roxboro, NC. It was pristine white with the healthiest red petunias I've ever seen in my life!

    Guess recycling comes in many forms.

    Tell Lachlan to "swing high and not low" for this Person county NC mainlander who wishes she was a darn kid again! :)

  17. Anonymous8:44 AM

    Philip - In your 8:45 a.m. comment about the dump, you said it is not "a Gehenna of smoldering refuse". I never heard of Gehenna and had to look it up. It
    refers to the "Valley of Hinnom, a ravine outside ancient Jerusalem where refuse was dumped." Where did you pick that one up? Charles, do you know Gehenna?

  18. There is some evidence that Gehenna was the location of a smoldering garbage dump outside the walls of ancient Jerusalem. It is also believed to be where early pagan priests sacrificed children...and where Romans cremated criminals. In any event, Gehenna came to represent the idea of Hell, a terrible, fiery place of punishment for the wicked.

    I am no biblical scholar...but I have read and studied that book.