I used to play a game called “American Eagle” in astoria projects as a kid. One person would be “it” and would stand in the middle of the field with all the other kids on one side of the field. Whoever was it, yelled American Eagle and everyone would try to charge to the other side of the field. The guy that was it would have to tackle someone and say “American Eagle 1,2,3, three times fast while he held his captive down. Then there was two people in the middle, would yell American Eagle again, and they would both try and tackle and capture the other kids running back across the field, until they were down to the last person. We would play until the Housing Authority Police chased us off the grass.
We used to fish the lost spauldeens out of the sewers in astoria projects where I grew up by fashioning a metal coat hanger with a little loop at the bottom enough to lift the ball out of the muck. Someone called “chips” on the ball, 15 cents was couple days of bottle hunting…Yuk…here’s your ball kid.
We lived in an apt in Astoria, Queens and as a little girl I use to prop upa blanket like a tent. Me and my siblings would hang out especially on hot summer nights. We had to be in at 8:00 and everyone was still out. So being on the fire escape made us feel we were not missing anything. Also there would be a group of boys from a gang called the Barons and they would harmonize to the tune of Duke of Earl. Oh the days of little wants.
I lived on Steinway St in Astoria and we went fishing too. Since it was a busy street we had meters and boy that was good for fishing. People were constantly dropping coins down the gratings. It was like hitting lotto when you got 25 cents. After all look what it could buy.
Hey, my sister learned a similar song made up of product names from a friend at camp (80s), and taught it to me. She couldn’t remember it, but I found it one a website. I also found the older one that someone mentioned on this board… I know the one she knew is a bit different, I’ll ask her what’s different and post it too. The tune is kinda similar to the “Miss suzy had a baby” one. Here are both versions from the site: As I was walking down the street one dark and gloomy day I came upon a billboard and much to my dismay The sign was torn and tattered from the storm the night before The wind and rain had done it’s work and this it what I saw Smoke Coca-Cola Cigarettes, chew Wrigley’s Spearmint beer Ken-L Ration Dog Food keeps your wife’s complexion clear Simonize your baby with a Hershey’s candy bar And Texaco’s the beauty cream that’s used by all the stars So take your next vacation in a brand new Fridgidaire Learn to play piano in your winter underwear Doctors say that babies should smoke until they are three And people over 65 should bathe in Lipton Tea Here is the older version: As I was walking down the street a billboard met my eye. The advertising that was there would make you laugh or cry. The wind and rain had almost washed that old billboard away. But the advertising painted there would have that billboard say: Have a smoke of Coca-Cola. Chew catsup cigarettes. Watch Lillian Russell wrestle with a box of Cascarets. Pork and beans will meet tonight in a finish fight. Hear Chauncey DePeeuw speak upon sapolio tonight. Bay rum is good for horses; it is the best in town. Castoria cures the measles, if you pay ten dollars down. Teeth extracted without pain, a nickel or a half a dime. Ingersolls are selling now, a little behind the times. Chew Wrigleys for that headache. Eat Campbells for that cough. There’s going to be a swimming bee at the village watering trough. Buy a case of ginger-ale, it makes the best of broth. Shinola’s good to curl the hair, it will not rub it off!
Most of the above songs are very familiar. Now I have a song that I have been trying to find the lyrics to for months. My mother (91 years old) used to sing it to my sons. I don’t know all the lyrics and would love any help anyone can give. If it is at all familiar, please send anything you know to me at esbock [at] juno [dot] com It is a song made up of product names from the 1920’s and starts, “Oh Castoria cures the measles It is the best in town.” Much further along is something about Purina and “Watch Lillian Russell wrestle with a pack of…..” Thanks for any help you can give.
is skully the same thing as a game we played in astoria, queens which we called “mud”. if anyone knows what mud is (also played with bottlecaps, on the sidewalk where a chalk square was drawn with numbers inside) and if, in fact, it is different from skully i’d appreciate knowing. th
Re: “King” (Lee Quinn). In Astoria, Queens in the early ’60’s, we played a game much like King called ‘Chinese Handball.” Many variations. One was as you described (if I’m understanding you correctly) where you could only shoot into a neighboring box (i.e., the Queen could shoot into the King or Jack box…the Jack into the Queen or 10 box] and the player who missed would go to the end with all other moving up. Another variation allowed anyone to shoot for the King (and replace him if you got him out). Sometimes we didn’t even keep score…just looked to be King for the longest amount of time (impressionistically speaking)….A shot that bounced low on the wall and then rolled was called a “killer.” You could hit a higher percentage of killers by slicing the ball…but carrying the ball was not allowed……