There was a game where you made a cirle with your fingers,and if anyone looked at it,they got three punches in the arm,if you didnt wipe it off,the other guy got 52 punches in the arm, it think it was called option.Anyone remember this or something like it.1950/60 Queens.P.S.186 .I remember this on the school bus in the mid 1960’s when we moved to SETAUKET,way out on long island.
Queens,Bellerose,glen oaks,PS186 1950’S 1960’S.Finding lost balls after the park closes.We had Creedmore Farm on the side of our school park.I would climb the really high fence,and enter the farm to get all the lost balls.A big great dane dog was allways at the old farm house,so you had to be fast and fill your pockets with balls,which would pop out as you climbed back over.Why didnt i just throw a bunch over the fence?We where allways worried someone from CREEDMORE HOSPITOL escaped and was loose in the farm.
PS 186 bellerose,glen oaks, queens 1950’s 1960’s.We played it behind a small brick school park building.Only enough room for two players.Thats the only way i played,one on one,a very fast game,one side of your sneakers allways wore out.And scrapping you fingers on the cement didnt help.The big kids had the little black hand ball,rock hard,with a glove,that was what every kid wanted,that ‘BOSS’ hand ball and special handball glove.And a ten speed bike too!
I “FOUND” my first bike,in a storage basement in Grand central apartments in Bellerose,Queens.A old 28″ balloon tire bike,it was the biggest bike i ever saw! I had to mount it from the stoop,and use my tippy toes to peddle it. I was 7 or 8 then,we were to poor to have our own bikes back then. My brother rode it to the library on Union Tpke,and it was stolen.I still tell the story to my kids,now late twenties,the story about the biggest bike in the world. 1953-1964 QUEENS NY.
I grew up in Bayside, Queens in the 1950s. We used Spaldeens for stickball and stoopball. The new ones cost a quarter and bounced higher than Pensie Pinkies (which, I believe, cost 15 cents.) Girls used Pensie Pinkies for punchball because they were so much softer. For that reason, they were also preferred for box baseball. For stickball, we played “fungo,” that is, no pitcher. Toss the ball in the air and hit it. Anyone remember the term “fungo?”
We played at PS 166 in Astoria (33 St & 35 Ave)well into our 20s, usually one-on-one. We’d chalk or paint a strikezone on the wall and use a tennis ball, which was much more controllable and harder to hit for distance than a spaldeen. (I used to carry in my trunk a can of spraypaint and my ancient taped-up bat which had shortened drastically over the years from splintering at the ends and propping up a buddy’s air conditioner.) The pitcher’s line was about 50 ft away. Two outs per inning, grounders fielded cleanly and caught fly balls were outs. Any fairly placed hit that stayed in the yard was a single, in the street was a double, against the 3-story buildings across the street a triple, and over the buildings a homer. As we got older and the bat shorter, homeruns declined and eventually ceased entirely. There was a deli on the corner and a souvlaki stand on the next block. We’d drink beer and stuff our faces between games. Next day would invariably entail total immobility due to back injury suffered from pitching 36-45 innings without warm-up, and this only got worse as we got older. When my buddy and I moved to LA we tried playing in a couple of schoolyards (I think Palms Jr. High was one of them?) but it wasn’t the same. Since then PS 166 built a new structure which filled their yard so the entire venue no longer exists. I also played a LOT of chinese handball, but with slightly different rules than those I’ve seen elsewhere. All obstacles are in the field of play, one bounce to the car and one bounce off is still alive, the ball only has to hit the wall inbounds– we played on a handball wall or against the supermarket without ace/king/queen boxes– but can bounce out and still be live. This encouraged getting up close on the wall for a steep angle and slamming it down the block. Taught it to a couple of friends in Texas years later and they loved it. The quality of play in different neighborhoods (and on different blocks within the same neighborhhod) varied tremendously. When I was an early teen, the quality of play on my turf was significantly higher than that I saw in Jackson Heights or Elmhurst, but that’s probably changed many times over the years. I still have an outstanding challenge with a childhood chum who’s now a lawyer in Philly (he grew up next to PS 2 near LaGuardia) that I’ll spot him 19 points in a game to 21 and he’s been ducking me for over 30 years on this. Hope he reads this…