I grew up in the Port Richmond section of Philadelphia and we would lower the liitlest guy by his feet to scoop up all the pimple balls. Took great courage and faith in those at the ankles to come back up with a coupla’ balls we could cut in half to play Halfsies. I guess our sewers weren’t as deep as yours; about 5 feet to the water line. Well we were close to the Delaware River too!
Does anyone remember “PUSH-O’S”? A wooden milk crate with a 2X4 nailed as a “runner” with the front end of roller skates on the front and the back half was nailed to the rear of the 2X4. Then you would customize it by carefully nailing bottle caps that could spell your initials, or your street. Sometimes you could get the speed up and crawl inside the milk crate givig the imression that no one was on the PUSH-O. No brakes, no helmet, no elbow pads…just lotsa fun!!
So, I read the July 1 article in The NY Times on the joys of streetgames, and was immediately transported back to the Bronx, circa 1958. We used to play a spaldeen game called “Captain.” The essentials included a high, smooth wall (we had one located next to the entrance of the now defunct Salvation Army Training School), cement “boxes,” and of course, the ubiquitious spaldeen (purchased from Moishe’s Candy Store, natch!). One kid would be the “captain” and stand in the first box, one box away from the wall. The rest of us (no specified number…as many kids could play as there were boxes) would form a line alongside the captain, one player per box. A reverse form of “handball” would ensue, with the ball bouncing in the box and THEN hitting the wall. The ball would then bounce into any other box, and the kid owning that space would slap the ball onto the pavement, having it hit the wall, and fall into another player’s box. If the player missed the ball, or hit it out of bounds, he/she would have to go to the end of the line, the rest of the players then moving up one box, closer to the “captain.” The goal, of course, was to get the “captain” OUT, so that you could attain that golden position. Gentler than handball, “Captain” nonetheless promoted similar skills in strategizing, strength (slapping the ball with greater or lesser energy) and dealing with serendipity (not seeing a pebble on the ground could cause your well placed shot to go seriously awry). Most of all, it was great fun. And for the few moments that you were “Captain” a kid from the Bronx learned the basics of power…gained with some skill and effort, and lost because of a lousy pebble.
What about when No Jelly appeared? First type of reeses I remember, shaped like Mounds, but chocolate and peanut butter. YUM! And Funny Bones. Some guy just started selling them out there in Colorado. What a memory boost! I remember dots on paper. I remember the juicy fluid inthat wax tube that you chewed on. I remember candy cigarettes, but remember cigarette gum? You blew through the end and a white “puff” of smoke (probably sugar powder) billowed out, then you peeled off the wrapper and chewed the gum. Anyone ever try to get the free stuff from Bazooka Joe gum? I got a batting glove once that ripped as soon as I put my hand into it! Geeze. But it was great getting it!
Sandra from 1068 Gerard Ave. (165th) (1973-1978) Building is gone now, but not the memories. Hanging out at Mullaly Park. Playing on the swings, handball. The bodega on the corner. Had my first crush there. Dr. Chan was my pediatrician. Playing in the alleys. Chelo, my best friend, the super’s daughter. Hanging out with Junie and Nancy on 166th. Had my first kiss with Francisco on the roof of the building on the corner of 166th and Gerard. Shopping on 167th. Went to school at PS 114 til 4th grade. Used to get a pizza, grape soda and a Snickers for $1.00. Then went to Christ the King on Marcy Place; Father Laracy, Father Rodrigo, Father O’Keefe, Sister Consilio. Going to the Kent Movie Theatre to watch Bruce Lee Movies. Later going to the RKO and Loews Paradise. Block parties! Those were the days…
the doll that walked with you was Patty Play Doll All time favorite original Tiny Tears….
I had a Shirley Temple doll, she came with a few outfits and was about 12″ tall. I wanted her for Christmas so bad. I remember how carefully I combed and restyled her curly hair.
i’m what was known as a tom boy back in the day. i like to consider myself more of a free sprit able to do what I want
I LOVE COFFE I LOVE TEA I LOVE CHRIS BROWN AND HE LOVES ME I MET MY BOYFRIEND AT THE CANDY STORE HE BOUGHT ME ICE CREAM HE BOUGHT ME CAKE HE BOUGHT ME HOME WITH A BELLYACHE MOMMA MOMMA I FEEL SICK CALL THE DOCTOR QUICK QUICK QUICK DOCTER DOCTER WILL I DIE COUNT TO FIVE AND YOU WILL BE ALLIVE 12345 I’M ALIVE 678910 I’M DEAD AGAIN