City Kids

Back in the day (oh gawd don’tcha just hate that phrase?) us city kids played in the streets. Nowadays kids play in their rooms on their electronics or in organized sports leagues/teams.  We were always outside, even when the weather wasn’t so great. There were city playgrounds where you could play on the swings and monkey bars, (now verboten because – opps, kids might get hurt) and see-saws.  There was a “parkie” who would dispense basketballs and even board games like checkers and chess (there were stone tables with the boards painted on). The parkie also kept major mayhem from breaking out and was responsible for opening and locking the playground.  Some playgrounds had skully and potsy  lines painted as well.

But most of the time we played skully, potsy, box ball, and stoop ball on the sidewalk in front of our homes. The streets were for stickball, and catcher/flyers/up, War and Red Rover. As I recall games like Ringolevio were started later in the day and were called for dinner, some kids called the game for dark but we played in the dark – lots of streetlamps where I lived.

 Oh yes there was basketball and all that – so many games that involve a ball of some size. Lots of ‘tag’ games, lots of running around, lots of dodging cars in the street (and yes, dodgeball, which to my mind  is a nasty little game.)

 What I remember most pleasantly is that Summer evenings the older kids would include the little kids in kinder gentler games of tags – like freeze tag or statues – we played those on grassy areas so the littles wouldn’t get hurt – I remember that so vividly.

 I wonder what kids today will remember? Or for that matter what do all the named and numbered generations after mine remember of their youth?

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