I grew up in the Pomonok project across from Queens College in the ’50’s and early ’60’s. Where we were Pensies were rarely available, though known of. Any of you remember that spaldeens varied somewhat in pressure. I’d go through the box and find the hardest ones I could. They could be punched further, hit further, but their principle advantage was in handball, if you were over six feet. It was an equalizer when playing with a short guy with better skills. In close play, a low hit would send it caroming over his reach. By the way Geoff, you sure could split a spaldeen with a broom stick or those slightly larger stickball bats that were sold in some places. A baseball bat compresses the ball too much and creates a greater area of contact making a split less likely. We used to turn the splits inside out and throw them. they moved like maniacal frisbees and were almost impossible to catch. Any of you remember three box baseball, a pavement game we played when it was just too hot and humid to play anything else?
Original author: Don Kaspersen [e-mail]