Adam Gartenberg's Blog

Business Analytics and Optimization, IBM and Social Marketing

Summer


Mr. Zuckerman had the best swing in the county.  It was a single long piece of heavy rope tied to the beam over the north doorway.  At the bottom end of the rope was a fat knot to sit on.  It was arranged so that you could swing without being pushed.  You climbed a ladder to the hayloft.  Then, holding the rope, you stood at the edge and looked down, and were scared and dizzy.  Then you straddled the knot, so that it acted as a seat.  Then you got up all your nerve, too a deep breath, and jumped.  For a second you seemed to be falling to the barn floor far below, but then suddenly the rope would begin to catch you, and you would sail through the barn door going a mile a minute, with the wind whistling in your eyes and ears and hair.  Then you would zoom upward into the sky, and look up at the clouds, and the rope would twist and you would twist and turn with the rope.  Then you would drop down, down, down out of the sky and come sailing back into the barn almost into the hayloft, then sail out again (not quite so far this time), then in again (not quite so high), then out again, then in again, then out, then in; and then you'd jump off and fall down and let somebody else try it.

Mothers for miles around worried about Zuckerman's swing. They feared some child would fall off.  But no child ever did.  Children almost always hang onto things tighter than their parents think they will.

-- E.B. White