What is the usual distance between man-hole covers in Brooklyn? As a boy living in Brooklyn, that was the criteria for measuring most street sports Stan G
70th street between 14th & 15th Bensonhurst, Brooklyn. I got so tired of re drawing the board every day, I decided to carve it into the asphault. It probably took me two days, but it was soo hot in mid July that the street was like butter. Mid to late 70ies we played all day long, we had to mark where our caps were with a penny or pebble when an occasional car came down the block. Evenings we played Buck Buck & Manhunt until Mr. Softee & then sit on the stoop & tell stories. Not the same anymore. I’m gonna draw a board on the driveway & teach my sons…they probably wont get it.
I played stickball on 61 street between 6th and 7th ave in Brooklyn in the late 50’s. Home plate was either the sewer near the Gooch’s house, or up by the lot near sixth ave. The latter was better because the outfield spread out at sixth ave. The leaders on the apartment house were the foul posts. The outfielders had to dodge traffic on the ave. Spaldeens were better. They didn’t egg as easy as the pennsy pinky. Max’s candy store on seventh ave would let us test bounce the balls to get the best one. Spaldeen 25 cents. Pennsy pinky 15 cents. Remember when they started to sell stickball bats with the black tape for grip. No more broom handles.
During the thirties we bought our candy in Jakies on Brooklyn Avenue between Herkimer Street and Atlantic Avenue. In the evening our Fathers used to hang out in front waiting for the bulldog editions of the newspapers to be delivered so they could check on the race track results. In those days a store like Jakies carried many newspapers and the Daily Mirror and the Daily News were the ones with the most complete horse racing results. If a kid managed to come up with a penny, he or she had a great many choices to make in front of Jakes candy case. . . a Hootens bar, jaw breakers, sugar dots on a strip of paper, Mary Janes, Fleers bubble gum, etc. If you took too long to make a choice Jake would say, “Come on kid, I ain’t got all day.” You tried to choose a piece of candy which would last a long time. Those were the days!
We used to play Off the Wall, which we called Flies Up, in East New York, Brooklyn in the ’80s. We also had a very mean version called suicide. In this version, if you touched the ball but didn’t catch it you had to run to the wall and yell “SUICIDE” before someone picked up the ball and threw it at you. If you got hit by the ball before you touched the wall, you had to take your lumps. You had to stand nose to the wall while each player took turns throwing the ball at you. The meaner kids would take a running start and throw the ball as hard as they could either at the small of your back or your butt. Once each player got a chance, play resumed with with you being the new “it” and throwing the ball.
I grew up in East New York, Brooklyn in the ’80s. We had the game spot near the end of our block. The garage, or the factory across the street from it, was the backstop for baseball. Flies up was played on the garage, and in the street was the skelly board. We used to use the plastic caps fro $.25 juices. We’d fill the top with wax from a 7 day candle and coat the bottom with wax to get the glide. I haven’t seen anyone play skelly in age. Kids don’t play outside anymore.
I grew up in Canarsie and played this game in the playground for years. My brothers and I would melt the crayons for the caps in my easy bake oven. I was telling my husband about this (only married over a year and an old friend of my brothers) and he had heard the stories from my brothers. We live in Maine and are going to get some chalk and play on our driveway. What a great memory!!!!
I never met steve or any of his family or friends. I only know what i’ve read here about him. My message is to his children… We are all terribly sorry for the burden 9/11 has placed on your life. Try not to forget, most people in the world are good…the world is good. Anonymous Brooklyn, NY
Its funny how it was then. we couldnt wait to grow up and get a car and our own place,and not have all our parents rules and school would be gone. I’ve dreamed of those wonderful days in Queens 1950’s and 1960’s. We tend to remember all good times when thinking of those days. I did some deep thinking about it,and remember alot of boring days too. I think the lack of responsibilities of childhood is the key to it all. I dont think the 1960’s way is gone,the inner city and poor sections still have that look and feel of outdoor streetplay. Im sure someone is still playing ace,king queen or Skullie somewhere. Saloogie!