It is great to know there are others out there that remember this game. I grew up in Chicago in the 70’s and learned this at a summer camp at a YMCA near Fullerton and Central Park. We called it skully caps. My memory of the rules and board are sketchy and my husband thought I was crazy. Now I have proof and the rules of play to teach my son!
I grew up in Brooklyn (MacDougal Street) between Ralph and Howard Avenues. Went to P.S. 40, George Washington Carver. I am so enthusiastic about finding this site. I currently live in Maryland but have lived all over and NEVER found anyone knowing of Skelly. I use to play with Lorenzo (LO or China) Raymond, Johnny, Junior,Squeechy and many, many others. Summers in Brooklyn, the memories are the best!!! Get at me if anyone is from this area of Brooklyn. I miss home. I was Michael ( Mike ) Red Devil, Dazz etc.
I played in Queens in the 80’s. It was mostly a summer game and we would play from morning until night. Often taking a mid-afternoon break as the summer sun would start melting everyone’s cap filler to some degree. My favorite all time cap is the grey cap of the bottle of 35mm film filled with clay. Other good caps we the cover from babersol Shaving cream(with clay) and the white Tropicana bottle cap with coins. I love to here how this is such NYC game. Gives a certain nostalgia to childhood in NYC. I would love to play again. Need to draw a board somewhere.
Grew up in S/W Schuylkill (56th & Paschall ave) We played all the street games listed back in the 50’s and early 60’s. Hide and seek was referred to as “Ring up” wall ball was referred to on some corners as “chink” Loved them all! We also nailed the broken bats, taped the ball playing Hard ball, Buck-Buck, baby in the air and alot of half ball in the summer and “two hand touch” in the winter. Great era and a great time! They actually had “box ball leagues” in the summer at the Mitchell school yard at 56th and kingsessing ave!
What a fun site brings back such wonderful memories of youth! I grew up in Brooklyn during the 70’s and during the summer all the kids on the block (and it seemed everywhere in NYC) would play Skelsies (or Skully), morning til night, we’d even play it under city street lamps. The most popular cap that we used was typically a milk jug cap and we would fill it with either melted crayon or putty clay as well. But, I haven’t seen any children play this game in years, seems as if the game has disappeared. But, what great memories of a fun game played on the streets of my youth.
I played Skelsies in the 70’s in the Vladeck Housing projects on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. I played so much in the summer that my knees were permanently black with dirt all summer long. I discovered the gray lids from the 35mm film worked great with a little melted crayon. I would float a dime in the middle for style and weight. There were quite a few fights due to the Slappsies which shot the opposing cap down the block. I miss the simpler times. Now with giutar Hero you just don’t get the neighborhood feel. Thanks for the warm memories.
I grew up in SW Philly near 68th and Woodland Avenues. We played Buck-Buck, but the first person on the team being jumped on wrapped his arms around a telephone pole. Once, one of the guys on the jumping team jumped so far he knocked himself out when he slammed into the pole. My friend’s brother broke his instep when he was the last guy bending over and the last jumper missed the stack and landed on his foot, which had the toes to the ground and heel up in the air. Ouch! The younger kids in our neighborhood played “shadow tag” at night. If you were “it”, instead of tagging someone you had to step on their shadow. Another game for younger kids was “Red Light, Green Light”. We also played various forms of “chicken”, which usually involved running in front of a car and seeing how close you could get without getting run over. In the winter if there was snow on the ground, we’d “ski” on the streets by grabbing hold of the back of a bus when it stopped and getting pulled along when it started to move.
I want to describe a pair of awful white bulging eyes as “taws” because of their size – but, knowing nothing about the game, I’d like to know if there are white taws. Or would they mostly be of a certain color or be otherwise beautiful? I’d appreciate learning just what the word “taw” brings to mind. Thanks. You can email me at bmiller [at] sjcsf [dot] edu
does anyone remember the term squinchie or fan squinchies from marble vocabulary of the 1960’s?
Im from East New York Brooklyn 11207 to be exact..Born in 78.. – so, Im talking to a friend in V.A. about classic games from our childhoods…I mentioned “skelly” and He looks at me with “THAT” face and thought I was Making it up…It was more than a Game to us, they will never get it….Glad to see you all, Those who Know… First thing every summer morning for us was “skelly”..BEST CAPS – We played with two types…The plastic TWIST caps from the gallon of milk container and the smaller pop off tops of the milk/Juice containers…melted candle wax was always my preference because you could always change the colors and add and remove wax for different techniques…BEST COURT- Over Black smooth tar in the summer…(AMBOY st. between Blake and Sutter in Brownsville)…The Great Ole Days…