My number was Virginia 9. We lived in queens. I remember shoe laces – Long thin strips of licorish, wax soda bottles, and candy smokes. We used to buy penny candy, little carmels, red hots, and other chewy things that practicly ripped your teeth out of your head. Had to do it on the sly – candy was off limits in our house. medeska
My mother’s “calling out” became a thorn in my side, one that my mother never grew out of. It began from a second story garden apartment in Queens,(where I grew up), and I was called up for a variety of things: “D-I-N-N-E-R! P-H-O-N-E-C-A-L-L!”, “E-D S-U-L-L-I-V-A-N I-S O-N!” As I grew older, these “calling outs” of my mother’s, escalated to the next level, and she brought them with her into various department and book stores. Not having her trusty window with her, my mother would invariably wonder off to look at something, lose me in the process, and then page me. When I turned 43 (gulp!) I decided that I’d had enough! So ….. On A recent trip to K-mart, wondering through the plant isle, I realized that I was in a one way conversation with myself. My mother had done it again. Poof! she had disappeared. I knew in a manner of 5 minutes or so, my name would be announced, and ALL of K-Mart would hear it. I ran over to the toy department, and picked up an item. As I heard my name, I rushed over to the nearest cashier, and made my purchase. I took my mother’s arm, and escorted her outside, where I presented her with own megaphone. She laughed. After a recent trip to Macy’s with my son, I called my mother on the phone and asked: “Remember that megaphone I bought you in K-mart? Could I borrow it?” My mother laughed.
Where I grew up in Queens we did the same thing. The building I lived in was one of a group which formed a circle around a courtyard. They were only three stories high (they seemed like skyscrapers), and it was commonplace to call up to mom to throw down some ice cream money or a ball and glove or just call up to friends either to get them to come down and play or just to have a conversation, window to pavement. Moms also used to call to their kids to come up for dinner. I don’t remember anyone ever complaining! Everyone did it.
The World’s Fair. Flushing Meadow Park, Queens. It was sooo exciting! My older sister flew in from college, and took me to The World’s Fair for the day. We arrived when the gates were opening, and we left when they were closing. I think we must have seen every exhibit and gone on every ride there! It was exhausting. My favorite ride was “It’s A Small World.” Moving dolls dressed in colorful costumes of every country sang the theme song, as small wooden tourist boats glided slowly through the water. To this day, my sister reminds me how I begged her to take me on that ride three times! o/ It’s a small world after all o/
I gotta tell ya, the hair on the back of my neck stood up after reading some of the stories.I grew up in Jamaica, Queens( born in 51 ). The way the world is today, we need more sites like this. Skelly was the best! We would fill the cap ( beer caps ) with melted crayon then rub real hard on the sidewalk ( aerodynamic ):) After going around back and forth and making around center,( if you landed on a line you started over )the thrill of blasting was the best! This is great!!!!! Keep it up. I’m gonna look for pictures right now. Thanks
Hey – I’m a guy (from Jamaica Queens), but I have a “kid” sister – mid 40s now. She and her silly girlfriend used to play all these games, giggling non-stop. I wonder if her friend still has that laugh! I recall some game called concentration – I don’t know if a ball or clapping was involved. They’d say “Concentration letter A, may I repeat the letter A, because I like the letter A, Alice begins with the letter A. Right through the whole alphabet. Drove me nuts!
Here’s how we played in Rochdale Village in Queens circa late 1960’s: We also used bottle caps weighed down with melted crayons. I remember Mom getting pissed when some dripped inside her newly cleaned oven. After awhile, some guys used the plastic caps that came on the “new” plastic milk containers. We quickly outlawed the larger jar caps, especially the Motts Apple Sauce caps. Our box was a prepainted “boxball” court (there’s another great game)that was approx. 6’x6′. Each numbered box, done up in chalk, was about 6″x6″. “Running out of town” was prohibited! If I remember correctly, after running 1 – 13 and then 13 – 1, you had to go around the “Skelly” before you became a Killer. You had to hit a guy three times to get him out. Obviously, you would try to line up that third hit so that you could blast him out of the playground – just to rub it in a little.
The BEST schoolyard in Queens in the late ’60s – early ’70s was PS 108 by the entrance to the Aqueduct racetrack. It was relatively square, fenced all around and had poured cement “boxes” roughly 5′ x 5′. These boxes served as softball basepaths, football yardlines, stickball pitchers’ mounds, handball court short lines, and distance markers for stickball and automatics. Connected to the large square area, there was a perfect sized handball court and wall, and the “little schoolyard” – a blacktopped area surrounded by 3 walls and a fence, perfect for roller hockey. Any afternoon in the summer there could be a softball game (sometimes two), a basketball game, 3 stickball games and a handball game going on at once. Summer nights was Ringoleario and just hanging out. In the fall and winter, it was touch football and basketball. Everyone met at the schoolyard. Just show up and you’ll get in some kind of game. We’ll never forget it.
I remember potsy. In Woodhaven, Queens – the game was hop scotch but the peice we played with was called a potsy. We made them by letting trucks and cars run over peice of metal. It was a treasure and you never let anyone get your potsy.