Friday, November 7, 2014

More To Remember

I had such fun the last time I took a trip down memory lane that I decided to do it again. I happen to remember each and every one of these things. I am so old!

Mumbley peg is not recommended for children. I cannot believe that we played and our parents did not realize that we were doing it. There are two versions that we played. Each player had his/her own pocket knife to use.

In the first version each player would stand with legs spread apart. They would take turns dropping their knives to see who could get it to stick in the ground closest to his own foot. The older boys flipped the knife at the opponent's foot to try to be closest but us younger one's were not quite that stupid.

In the second version each player would do trick flips with the knife. If the knife stuck in the ground the player could keep playing. If his knife did not stick and his opponent's knife did not stick they continued. But if his knife did not stick and his opponent's did the game was over.

Pick-up sticks were great fun. Colored sticks that look like toothpicks with pointed ends and about 7 inches long. You gather the sticks together lengthwise and stand them together on end and let go. The sticks will fall into a pile. You must pick up the sticks one at a time without moving any other sticks. Each color is worth a certain amount of points to be added at the end to see who wins.

Most people did not have air conditioners back then. It was a challenge to try to keep cool. If our parents said we could we played in the sprinkler. Sometimes we had no sprinkler so one of us would hold the water hose with a thumb or finger partially blocking the flow of water to make a spray we could run through.

Different kinds of sprinklers make for different kinds of enjoyment. The ones that spray in an arc were fun. They sprinkle from side to side up and over. I liked to lay in the grass and let the sprinkle pass over me as it went from one side to the other.

There are sprinklers that spin the water out. You have to be quick to get a share of water from those. Sprinklers that are like hoses with holes in them are not quite as much fun as the others but they cool you off.

Davy, Davy Crockett, King of the wild frontier. Davy Crockett was the most popular anything for a while. There was a series of Davy Crockett mini movies made by Disney for the weekly show. Everybody was singing the theme song.

Kids had coon skin caps, bb guns, lunch boxes; you get the idea. Anything with Davy Crockett on it would sell.

Speaking of Davy Crockett the company that made Wheaties breakfast cereal had a Davy Crockett promotion. On the back of every Wheaties box was a 45RPM record imprinted into the cardboard of the box. When you had emptied the box you carefully cut the record from the box and played it on your record player. They really worked.

Slinky came into being when a sailor was testing different types of springs to use to stabilize instruments at sea. One of the springs fell from a shelf and followed itself to the table and the floor. A remarkable toy was born.

Original slinkys were made of steel and lasted forever as long as they did not get tangled. Today most of them are made of plastic because it is so much cheaper. Perhaps it is my imagination but I do not think they perform as well as the old steel ones.

Kick ball was a popular game at school. It is played much the same as baseball except that the ball is almost the size of a basketball and you kick it (hence the name kick ball) instead of using a bat. The school liked it because the ball seldom went through a window. We liked it because a person did not need to be as talented as for a baseball game.

Young men wore a hair style that was called a D.A. It was combed back at the sides where the hair met at the middle of the back of the head. There the hair was combed upward to resemble the feathers of the tail of a duck. We were allowed to call it a duck tail but a slightly more risque name for the back of the duck was what really made it a Duck's A**.

Games on the playground were often played in the round with everyone in a circle except for "it". "It" would make a situation so that people from the circle would have to try to catch him. If they could not they would be it. There were games played in lines that were similar.

Some of those games were duck duck goose, pum pum pull away, freeze tag, and drop the hankie. Dodge ball where one person is "it" and everybody else takes turns trying to hit him with the ball and keep away where everybody tries to keep "it" from intercepting the ball sort of fall into the same category.

Jump rope with the little rhymes that accompany the jumping is fun. Almost all girls had a jump rope to jump by herself. Longer ropes were used as two girls twirled the ends as the jumper jumped. More than one person could jump at a time that way.

There were specialty jumps using the single rope and the long rope at the same time or two long ropes being twirled in opposite directions and many variations of each of those.

For a while there was a game called Chinese jump rope using long ropes made of rubber bands. I watched others do it but I never really understood it. It was entertaining though.

Jacks are little star shaped pieces, 10 in all. There is a ball about an inch in diameter. You toss the jacks to slightly spread them in front of you. Then you gently toss the ball into the air... not too far now. Before the ball comes down you pick up one jack. Then you catch the ball in the same hand the jack is in as the ball bounces up again.Set the jack down beside you and do it again. You try to get all ten of the jacks in this manner.

That is not the end of the game however. The next time around you have to pick up two jacks at a time. Next time.three. These are called onsies, twosies, threesies. You will do foursies, fivesies, sixies, sevensies, eightsies, ninesies, and tensies.

Now you may think that is the end. Nope. You start all over with onesies but this time the ball must bounce twice before you catch it. You can stay busy for a long time with jacks.

Kick the can. For this game you need a tin can. "It" watches as another player kicks the can as far as possible. "It" then runs to retrieve the can as the other players hide. As "it " finds the hiding players he places them in the area designated as jail. They must remain in jail until all players have been captures unless one of the other players comes out of hiding to rescue him. The problem with that is that the other player leaves himself vulnerable to be caught as well. When all players have been jailed the first player captured is "it".

Cars were distinctive in the "olden" days. You could immediately identify a car just by looking at it. But they still went through a lot of changes in style.

Most cars used to have running boards. Those are the metal "sidewalks" beneath the doors on either side of the car. I am not certain what they were for. Perhaps at one time they were strong enough to provide a step up to enter the car.

Tail fins made a car look longer and oh so cool. The bigger the car the better.

Back then the really cool cars sat low to the ground and were called low riders. Really cool cars were lower in the back than in the front.

The last game for this time is hopscotch. A series of squares is drawn on the sidewalk or street using chalk. In the beginning of the game you just hop on one foot to the end of the squares, hop to turn around and hop back. There are spots where two squares will be side by side. Each foot goes into one square at the same time.

For subsequent turns a marker such as a rock is used to toss to squares beginning with the first square. You jump over that square and complete your round. When you come back to that square you stand on one foot (two if you are in side by side squares), bend over, and pick up the stone. You hop in that square and out of the drawing. Using the marker will continue until you have done it to each square.

If you wish to continue you can mark two squares instead of one or set up any challenges you wish.

So how many do you remember? Do you have any to add?


  1. I think I know all of these except the ones you mention with knives...maybe only the boys played that, I don't know.
    Did you ever play the game of "Ribbon"? One kid would be the shopkeeper, one would be the shopper and the rest of the kids would be the ribbons, all given their own colors...the shopper would come and ask for a, no hat...then, perhaps some chewing, no chewing gum...(as the "ribbons" are giggling like mad!)
    No? Then how about ribbon? (Then the ribbons are all excited!)
    What COLOR ribbon would you like? And then once he picks a color, that color ribbon comes forward and must be turned around for how many inches he needs..and then, the ribbon runs like crazy!! Can't remember what happens after that!!

    1. Ribbon is a new one for me. It sounds interesting.