I was driving down Preston the other day with my grand puppy Beau in the car with me. He likes when I go slow so he can gander at folks walking their dogs. We are creeping by AC Steere Park in Shreveport and I started thinking of years gone by when there was a giant metal slide or two at this park. They also had a beautiful, but rickety metal merry-go-round. My boys loved that merry-go-round. Both loved when I would push it so fast and they had to hold on for dear life. Often, they would try to stand in the middle of the merry-go-round and keep their balance while I pushed.

We were lucky. There was never a hospital visit linked to playground equipment for my sons. But we did scrape a knee, or bust a lip a time or two. Nothing to prompt me to call a lawyer and sue. I guess times have changed.

The experts in the playground world tell me many favorites from years past have been removed from many Louisiana parks because of liability concerns. You can still find swings and some basic equipment. The playground surfaces are all now made of chopped up rubber to make sure youngsters don't get hurt if they do fall.

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