My name is Don Whelan I lived at 1419 New York Ave until 1969 when I was 13 years old. I also attended St. Jeromes up until the sixth grade in 1969. I was younger then Bobby Lacourte and Charlie Ambruso but I use to tag along with them and play sports with them. They nicknamed me Quack because Donald Duck had the same first name as me and that’s the noise he makes. We use to play the following sports in the center court of Vanderveer slap and punch ball, hockey, softball. We also use to play stoop ball, scully, johnny on the pony, ring a leaveo, put a coin on the ground and try and hit the coin with a spalding ball and get points. We use to create All Star Baseball leagues from a board game that had a spinner on it. You would place the baseball players round card on the spinner and spin it, I remember a 1 was a home run. I remember during the summer nights our parents sitting in lawn chairs all over the Vanderveer. I remember making go carts out of baby carriage wheels or roller skate wheels and wooden milk cartons. I remember seeing the biggest water bugs walking thru the basements of Vanderveer. Finally when the neighborhood was going bad I remember the cops walking around with german shepards and driving around in scooters. I am now living in N.J. since 1969. These are great memories and a great website. Don Whelan
I remember alot of these games. I grew up in North Philly (3rd & Bristol) near Feltonville. We played boxball, stickball, handball, chink ball, and buck buck. I haven’t see many messages on chink ball.The the way we played it you hit the ball either pimple or pink rubber if they didn’t have a pimple ball, against the wall on one bounce. You could juggle the ball three times, but then you had to hit it. You would try to fake your opponent out by pretending to hit it hard, then hit it softly. If he or she missed it, it was worth one point. First one to 5 won. Thanks, for the memories. Al.
In downtown Jersey City, NJ, this was called Johnny Jump the White Horse.
Socrates, it was called “Buck Buck”. When all the jumpers were on the stoopers backs one of the jumpers would yell “Buck Buck how many horns are up” and hold up 1, 2 or 3 fingers. One of the stoopers would have to guess the number. If the stooper was correct the teams would reverse roles. If he was wrong or the stoopres caved in under the weight of the jumpers the jumpers would get to go again. If any of the jumpers fell off the stoopers before the number was called the jumpers would lose and have to change positions as well.The guy against the wall (the pillow) would verify the number to prevent cheating. We played this in the Sunset Park area of Brooklyn during the late 50’s early 60’s.
I remember growing up in the Fort Greene projects. I was born 1953, had two older sisters, so I grew up knowing oldies but goodies. In fact, so much that I today sing with an acapella group, The Valentinos. I remember how beautiful Fort Greene was in those days. There were all races and all lived in harmony. I am Puerto Rican, but I grew up with White, Black, Korean, Jewish… it didn’t matter. We were kids and just wanted to have fun. I was born in Cumberland Hospital, lived in 24 Monument Walk and went to PS67. I remember we would be playing all day in Fort Greene and just around my building, they used to have sort of a playground. The kids I hung out with were always older than me I guess because my sisters had no choice and their friends had no choice too. They had to take care of their brothers or sisters. So we also played together. We played so many games in one day from morning till sometimes 1:00 in the morning because in those days the parents would go outside and sit on the benches to talk so we kept playing. The girls sometimes played jump rope, hopscotch, box ball, then we would get tired of that and start playing tag on the monkey bars. Sometimes the guys would join in and, in no time, there would be about ten or more playing tag. Then we would play either punch ball or, “Three Feet Off To Germany.” We also had sort of a small maze (we called it the puzzle) about 3 1/2 feet high and you could stand on this, or walk though it. We also used to play tag on the top and everyone would be on top running from the guy who was “it.” Sometimes we broke our butts because either you went too fast when they were chasing you–you know how guys are, tough and rough. Between the puzzle to the right was this big sort of thing, what we called “the barrel.” It was shaped like a barrel and it was hollow, and sometimes we would get inside–maybe four to five, or as many as we could fit. And then we would have one person–or two at the most–on the top and they would try to tap anyone who tried to get out or in. If you were tagged, you would have to go on top and be it, and so on. As kids, we could go all day. To the left of the puzzle were some logs–oh, about four big log across, and on top were three and so on until there was one on top. Then right next to the logs were three sets of benches. So sometimes we would play tag on all of them. We would make one of the benches home base and another one sort of a holding cage where the others can free you. Sometimes the barrel and the logs would be home base with the puzzle in the middle. It started with one team being “it.” Then, if they got tagged by someone from the other team, they would get put into a holding cage and be guarded. Someone in your team would try to free you by tagging the cage. The rules were: you can only use the barrel which was home base, step to the puzzle (where you better run through and not get caught), to logs which was another home base. Oh… you could only use three steps in either direction, except the puzzle. And oh… over the fence which the guys used a lot was the running area. That was a great game. Also in that area was another object we called the boat. It was long with an opening and, on both the pointed area of the boat and the wide part, were seats. All these objects were made of concrete and painted in colors. Sometimes the guys would sit in there and start singing. And we would all sit on the edges of the boat. It was great. I remember too, some long logs were about 20 feet and at one end it started from the floor and got higher until you could walk it straight and then at the other end it went down again. We use to walk that or play tag on it without falling. Come to think of it, man, we played a lot of diffent tag games. We also played ringoleavio, that was an all day game. And we would have maybe 20 to 40 of us playing and the rule was, “use all of Fort Greene.” Fort Greene had three parts to it, so you could spend all day looking to find someone. If I go on I’ll be here all day. To make a long story short, we played handball, basketball, scullys, Johnny On The Pony, stickball, skating (when they put tar in the play areas). It was great. Great. I wish every kid in the world could have my childhood.
It’s nice to know there is this comraderie of being brought up in Da Bronx. My story might sound a little different. I grew up in the Classon Point area which is a several miles West and South of Castle Hill. There were no number named streets just Randall,Soundview,Beach,Commonwealth,and along with playing ringoleaveo,cracktop,skully,touch football,johnny on the pony,schoolyard basketball, I remember going to Worlds fair and “Freedomland” which was bigger than Disneyland and is now where co-op city is. I also remember going fishing for porgies,fluke,flounder,eels,blackfish,bluefish, stripers and went crabbing during the winter in the Bronx and East Rivers. We would throw them back and keep only the fish(Stripers) we caught further east on the sound.(I don’t know if any of this wildlife is there today.) We hunted pheasants with a bow and arrow(probably illegal) in the many open areas that were still wild in this area in the late fifties and early sixties. My neighbors were the best and consisted of the Archettis’LoContes’,Diazs’,Gorshoffs’Hodges’,Freemans’ to name a few and they were of Italian,Black,Puerto Rican,Irish, Columbian,Jewish, German heritages,a beautiful mix and everybody new each other and their kids. My mom would speak Spanish to our Italian speaking neighbor and they would understand each other. This is a part of the Bronx that had “Shorehaven”,Harding Park,Seven caves,Rubys, Genes’,Classon point yacht club, and the Beach Theater. Our wood frame houses on St. Lawrence ave. were in the area of several projects and one of the oldest sections in the area going back to farming days in the Bronx. We were right across the East River from Shea stadium and from my roof I could see the lights of the stadium as well as the Empire state building and the Twin towers when they were being built. I went to P.S. “69” which is built like a World War II memorial with gorgoyle heads of soldiers looking down at you. The school had painted over asphalt floors in the stairwells and ground floor that had years of high heel marks in them. It had a schoolyard perfect for pitch count stickball played with a chalked in strike zone against a wall. Can’t question a strike when the spaldeen has chalk on it!!
well i played ringoleavoi.,but we called it “RELEAVIO” also wiffleball was a great game. i would like to know if you remembered BILLY BILLY BUCK BUCK.we also played “around the world releavio”.
I had forgotten all about this one, until I read the message on Buck Buck. I remember watching my brothers and the other boys on the street playing it. How I loved growing up in Philly! We lived in the Richmond Section.
Anyone remember “Buck Buck”? The gang split up into two teams. One person from each team was designated as the cusion. He would stand with his back agaist the wall and his teammates would line up. The first teammate would lean down and put the top of his head against the “Cusion’s” belly. The rest of the team would line up behind the first like a train with their heads down. The second team, one at a time, would run from the curb and jump on top of the other team’s players and try to make them collapse. Every time a player would attempt to knock the other team down, he would first scream,”Buck Buck #1 coming..” and so on until the weight of the other team was too much and the first team would collapse. Great site! Looking forward to seeing more of the games that I have forgotten that I would like to teach my two sons. They still don’t understand why you wouldn’t use a whole pimpleball!!!!!!!!