In the Bronx in the early 40s: Two players in adjacent boxes (squares of sidewalk paving) hit the ball back and forth. The ball must bounce in the other player’s box. The player missing the ball or not bouncing it in his opponent’s box gets a point. 21 points loses.
My parents were really great with me. I was allowed to go to Steeplechase myself at an early age. And though my folks gave me some money for the admission I would always try to scrounge up some extra. This was easy for me because I lived right by the beach in Brighton Beach. I would either collect soda bottles for their deposit returns ($.02) or I’d sell old comics to the kids going to the beach. At Steeplechase I was always hitting the trash cans. Here I would always find those big round tickets with holes to punch for each attraction with at least one or two holes left in it. This made sure my day at Steeplechase Park would be a long one. My favorite rides were the giant slides. My favorite attraction was the clown stage. Here rider coming off the steeplechase horse ride would have to confront a clown. As they exited the ride they would have to walk across the stage. The clown if he was good would get the women to stop over an air hose in the floor and when the clown would activate it their skirts would fly up
Here in Queens, Ny a suburb of NYC – being “deported” New Yorkers in my day – 1959 – early 60’s we played in the street – using the “Johnny pump”, manhole cover, etc., as our bases – and the ball definately had to bounce first. C.Umberto
Ruby the Knishman was more popular than any president, in Brooklyn in the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s. I knew him in Canarsie as a youth. He was all over the place! For an in-depth dedication to this fine man, please go to http://www.angelfire.com/co/cascole/ruby.html
Yippee. Others who remember skully. I thought it was skully. Try telling people in Florida about skully. They think I am nuts. We had fun with our creatively designed bottle caps. We played in Brooklyn, in the playground of our projects — which was the Harry Silver’s Butcher’s Coop. I kind of remember the layout, with the border around the center square, but it would be nice if someone knew exactly how it was set up and how to play. I’d like to bring back some fun times.
I’m a 25 year old from Jersey and when I was a kid, I remember my dad teaching me a couple of the games he used to play when he was growing up in NE Philly. He showed us one game called “Halfball” where you would cut a tennis ball or raquet ball in half and play stickball with it. Some of the pitches you could toss with the half ball were more interresting than almost anything you could do with a regular baseball. That’s a game that teaches you how to keep an eye on the ball and how to swing properly to make good contact. Another game was a little simpler. All it required was a (whole) tennis ball and some overhead wires (preferably 3 or 4 running parallel one on top of the other). It played as a type of baseball game. You would allocate bases for each wire (bottom wire was a single, the second wire was a double, etc.) and the “batter” would toss the ball in the air in an attempt to hit one of the wires with the ball. If the “outfielder(s)” caught the ball before it hit the ground, it counted as an out. If the ball hit a wire and then hit the ground without being caught, you were awarded “bases” relative to which wire was hit. You had to get out 3 times before the next person was up. It was a pretty cool game that didn’t take up a lot of room in the street and still had a baseball-type edge to it. I highly suggest giving it a try.
In South Philly our ball of choice was a “pimple ball”, white or rather greyish rubber with 1/8″ dimples with bands running latitudily and stars embossed on both poles. It was used in many games, stickball, wallball, wireball, boxball, miniature,ledgies, points, dinky and the ultimate and most sublime of the street games, Halfball. In further postings I will detail the sublimities of this most enjoyable game.
Johnny on the pony was called “Buck Buck” in South Brooklyn. One team would crouch over one behind the other with one member “The Pillar” standing against a wall. The other team would leap on to the backs of the team crouched over, hoping to double or triple up on one person. The object was to cause a cave in. When all members of the leaping team were up on top of the other team, one of them would hold up one or two fingers and yell out “Buck Buck how many fingers are up. If the team crouched over guessed right, they would get to leap, if not, they had to crouch over again. “The Pillar” was the judge to make sure the leaping team did not cheat.