Ooooh, anyone have a “Big Wheels” bike when you were a real little kid? I loved those!
Here are a few I remember that weren’t for clapping, just to sing/say: Have you ever in your life seen the devil with his wife? No I’ve never in my life seen the devil with his wife. Have you eever iver over in your leefe life lofe seen the deevil divil dovil with his weefe wife wofe? No I’ve neever, niver… etc etc. Then there’s anna, banana, banana SPLIT! Which is either for doing the splits or for chinese jumprope… Here’s a funny one you say. There’s also a version of it in the movie The Labyrinth. Person 1: You remind me of a man! 2: What man? 1: The man with the power! 2: What power?? 1: The power of Whoodoo! 2: Who do? 1: You do! 2: I do what!? 1: You remind me of a man!! And on and on… The way I did it, we would keep acting more frustrated as we went on. Another one like that is where one person says “thank you” the other says “you’re welcome” first says “thank you for saying you’re welcome” second says “thank you for saying thank you for saying you’re welcome” and on and on… I also remember the X marks the spot one. You do it on someone’s back to give them the chills. My friends and I LOVED that one, we’d do it over and over hehe… It was something like this: Circle circle, (mark circles on their back) X X, (mark x’s) spider running down your back, (tickle your fingers lightly down their back) Tight squeeze, (squeeze em) cool breeze, (blow on their back) now you’ve got the chillies! Another game is where you say “I won a _____ (whatever) such as: First person: I won a bicycle Second person: I two a bicycle first person: I three a bicycle second: I four a bicycle first: I five a bicycle second: I six a bicycle first: I seven a bicycle second: I eight a bicycle first person: You ATE a bicycle?!?! This works best with an ‘unsuspecting’ person, hehe… My sister made one up where you don’t stop at 8. You say “I one a turner” and you go up to eighteen, so the person says “I eighteen a turner” and you say “You ate Tina Turner!?” heh.
My best bike memory was when I hit my neighbors mail box. I always used my bike with shoes to stop, but this day I had no shoes on was also without a shirt. I come flying down the street, turn into the driveway when I see something is in the way, so I move only to hit the mail box knocking me down to the ground. I wake up with the neighbors hovering over me and my bike half way down the street. In the end I was lefted with a HUGE scare on my chest, one on my face, and serval on my back from gravel.
Here’s a hula hoop tip from a former “East Coast Hula Hoop Champion” (no kidding!). You can help make the cheap hula hoops that are sold in the toy stores stay up longer if you wrap bicycle handlebar tape around the hoop. In the old days, Whamo-O made hula hoops with ridges inside the hoop, which made them easier to twirl.
I grew up in the East End of London. We were really into bikes, riding all over and beyond the neighborhood. We couldn’t afford new bikes so we made them out of parts we found scrapyards, or pieces we’d purchase Back then, in the early 70’s, Evil Knievel had just hit the streets of London. We all tried to copy him with our bikes. I remember one time I set up a jump in the backyard. It couldn’t have been more than 2 or 3 feet max, but when I landed I couldn’t stop. My mom wasn’t too happy when I came crashing through her back door.
For my tenth birthday, in 1946, my parents surprised me with the best gift of my life, a second-hand bicycle which my older brother had painted bright yellow with red racing stripes. It enabled me to graduate from my well-worn roller skates and to travel beyond the sidewalks. My world had expanded! This priceless bike had no gears or manual brakes, but, with that bike I could join the older kids who would gather at dusk and play hide and go seek …in and out of the alleys that cut through our neighborhood, behind Wilson High in Washington, DC. Open garages were safe spots to hide back then. One summer we made the game a bit more interesting by taking a piece of chalk along and leaving a trail of arrows on sidewalks, trees, and telephone poles… as clues to be followed. An “X” marked the final hiding area, and the game was over when it was too dark to play. A few years later my bike was stolen one night from our garage, and it wasn’t until I bought myself another bike after many years had passed, that I realized once again the joy a bicycle can be….and still is.
Man, was I surprised and excited to find this site!! First off to Hugh McNally…You’ve done an outstanding job of putting the rules together in an articulate manner. Very professional. (It reads like it was written by a technical writer.) Anyway, I played Skully (or Skelly?) growing up in the Bronx and Queens. The game was slightly different between the neighborhoods I grew up in. In lived in the Bronx until second or third grade. I remember playing first with the broken necks off Coca-Cola or Heinekein bottles which we removed by running the neck-end of the bottles over a manhole cover. Eventually we began using the glides off of the bottoms of chairs and desks. (The desks had large glides, while the chairs had smaller ones.) I remember melting down Crayola crayons into the gliders. (It was pretty cool trying to customize the colors in your cap for that unique look.) I remember just using the plucking technique. There were two: 1)Flicking the middle finger from contact with the thumb (for power shooting, i.e.- Blasting or for long-distance shots) and 2)Flicking the index finger from underneath the thumb, while using the other three fingers as a brace (much like when shooting pool). This technique worked best for finesse shots (i.e.- hitting your opponent soft enough to keep him around for bait on your next shot, or when shooting around the Skully so that you didn’t get stuck inside, or overshoot your intened box.) After moving to Queens (Springfield Gardens area), I remember using the caps off the Dellwood milk containers. We started weighting them down with candle wax. Wax was surpassed by Playdoh or clay later. But eventually the preferred top came to be the bottoms from Push-Up ice cream. We’d weight them down with multi-colors of clay and scrape them against the ground to help smooth them down underneath. They were awesome!!! We would even put a chrome tire valve cap (taken from a car or bicycle) in the center of the cap and use it as an aiming site! The other technique that I was introduced to in Queens was called, “Flying your cap”. This was usually used for covering very long distances (i.e.- shooting back into town to become (or after becoming?) a Killer.) It could also be used to shoot at any time. (It was preferred when shooting from corner to corner across the board.) This is how we did it: 1)Place the cap in between your thumb and the first digit of your middle finger 2)While keeping your forearm parallel to the ground and against your waist, pull your arm back 3)Push your arm forward briskly, while flicking the first digit of your middle finger forward (much like when some flicks away a cigarette butt) The top should now be propelled forward as it rotates (from the flicking of the finger) and should cover a long, or short distance (dependent on the force of the forwrd arm thrust and the flick of the finger). Using this technique you can hit your opponent from long distances. (Think of the little pistol with the rifle stock that Lee Van Cleef used in “For a Few Dollars More”). I also remember the start line being far enough from the “1” box that you’d be better suited trying to “fly your cap” than to pluck it. The shooting sequence of players was determined by the closest one to the “1” box. I also remember the fun of blasting your opponent so hard that he’d start rolling on his side all the way out of town (he wasn’t allowed to stop it on his own.) I live in California (Bay Area) and am 33 now, but still love to play. I’ve shown this game to my nieces and nephews and they all love it!! I’ve also shown it to a few of my buddies and they love it too! It’s like being a kid all over again. I just moved to a smaller town outside of San Jose, and intend on teaching the kids in the neighborhood and in my new congregation how to play this truly timeless game!!! Anyone out there, please feel free to e-mail me at: thunt [at] obsidianinc [dot] com or NYsquared [at] aol [dot] com P.S.- I also have fond memories of playing Stickball (played in the street or between two walls of a school builing), Ring-O-Leavio, Punchball (with the sponge ball or Pinky), Roundup, Freeze Tag, Dodge Ball, and the favaorite with the girls…Run, Catch, and Kiss.
I had a blue banana seat bike with glitter tassles and a white flowered basket on the handle bars. God did I love that bike! The banana seat was blue with white along its edge. I used to ride with no hands all the time(for some reason I can’t do that anymore on my moutain bike)….holding onto the upside-down u shaped metal bar that the seat was attached to and leaning waaaaay back. Sometimes I would hang a little licence plate back there. Remember the ones that you could get out of cereal boxes??! That bar also made it easier for your passenger to hold on. It’s hard as heck to do that now that’s for sure! Banana seat bikes were the low riders of the bicycle world. You could trick them out in all sorts of ways. Tassles, a basket between the handlebars, playing cards in the spokes, rear-view mirrors, bells, horns, etc. They were the greatest! I’ve seen that they’ve made a little comeback in some communities out west. But sadly, not here on the east coast. *Sigh*
Growing up at Inwood Hill Park, at 204th and Vermylea, the king of all bikes was the Ross Apollo 3 speed; courtesy of Wonderama. We had our share of Stingrays and Crates, but the Ross Apollo had the neat frame, the 3 speed shifter, the slick tires, it was the bike with the mean looks! Add baseball cards to the spokes, the high sissy bar with leather tool pouch, a dogbone wrench,and a Screecher( that thing on the handlebar post with the crank that made that screeching noise;;see Pee Wee’s Big adventure, the bike used there has one!)and you were king of the block!