I, too, grew up in East New York in the 50s. And I certainly remember A my name is Alice…. I’m trying to teach it to my daughter but it just doesn’t work with the large beach balls. Where are those pinky balls anyway? Other girl games I remember involved jumping rope. I recall that I was VERY good at double dutch. It was alot of fun. Double dutch involved two girls at the opposite end of two jump ropes – one rope in each hand, each rope sort of crossing over each other. The jumper would have to start in one of the corners and jump really quickly over each rope as it landed and flew up off the ground. This is too difficult to explain but very easy to do. What great memories.
When we played the Alphabet Game…bouncing a ball and calling out ‘A my name is Alice, My husband’s name is Albert, we come from Alabama and eat Apples, etc. When you came to each name you had to put your right leg over the ball. That’s where the hard part came in. Usually kicked the ball away. I never got to the end either. We took turns and whoever got to the end of the alphabet…won the game. Gosh, I haven’t thought of this game in years.
Hey, what about us girls?? You guys may consider our games wimpy, but we hung out and played on the streets and stoops too! My memories are hazy and I haven’t thought about those days lately, so I can only provide titles and brief descriptions — perhaps it will jog someone else’s memory: I moved away from Brooklyn when I was 7, so I played the following at a tender age: 1. Red Light, Green Light, One Two Three 2. Giant Steps 3. Statues I can’t recall, though, just what these games entailed! Anyone remember? Of course, our basic sidewalk game was Potsy. Although it is generally known as Hopscotch, in Borough Park, Brooklyn it was always Potsy. And it was still Potsy when we moved to Old Bethpage, Long Island (of course, many suburbanites had emigrated to Long Island from Brooklyn…) Girls were into Spalding balls too. We bounced ’em off stoops and against walls, and of course did the classic “A, my name is Alice, and my husband’s name is Andy, we come from Atlanta and we sell anchovies…” You were supposed to go through the whole alphabet, but I don’t think I ever did. And now, a confession: there were times when I could be the annoying kid sister: Sometimes when my older brother played stickball or wiffle ball in the backyard with his friends, if I felt mischievious, I’d skip across their playing field, calling out in a sing-song voice, “Interference! Interference!”