The only other ball game we played not listed here was called something that might have been spelled “sluuuugie”, which was played with 2 teams. Each team would throw the ball to only their teammates, while the other team tried to steal it. Stealing the ball often was physical rough housing allowed. One last game also unmentioned, but played with out a ball was johnny on a pony, usually we played against a johnny pump (fire plug), but sometimes against a telephone pole. Charlie from Ozone Park 1965-1978
Now;do you remember the lead bottom can you had to scrath off before you could pick up the johnny pump water,Chaulk was a given,to be used on sidewalks or placed in an old sock to hit somebody with.(now)this is all illegal—————Roof top tag many a friend died missing that roof,Parachuting across the tops of elevators in buildings,hitching a ride on the back of a city bus with iron roller skates,Tree tag only in the trees not on the ground,OH-BOY thank the Lord we are all alive. Danny Boy
I started on the Grand Concourse in the early 60’s and never stopped having fun after that. Stickball, Skellies, Johnny on the Pony, Kick the can, watching the greasers and the new hippies stare each other down. My twin brother and I were nice Puerto Rican boys in an Irish / Jewish neighborhood. All my friends were Shemtobs, McNallens, ORielly, Buffa, Mehan, Schwartz. It was great, I learned a whole bunch of different cuss words. We had fake wars with sling shots and bottle caps. We would explore boiler rooms and roof tops and would make flashlights out of Bean cans with a lit candle burning the tin till it was too hot to hold. We could watch the parades on the Grand Concourse from any stoop on the street, All the US flags would wave from the windows. We had about 30 kids playing stickball on Marcy place and many of us would roof spaldings atop PS 88 on Sheridan. It was the perfect Stickball Street. We could also open Johnny pumps with a stickball bat and a coat hanger and spend hours grinding bean cans on the concrete to get the tops off.(boy were we dumb) We also built scooters with old metal skates and old milk boxes. Build tunnels in the mountains of snow that was built up by sanitation. We would sing Beatles tunes to our 3rd grade girlfriends and run like heck when they tried to kiss us. We all formed the Bronx Super Heroes club. I was 007 – James Bond and my brother Karl was Robin “The boy blunder” Between all the Bronx buildings were miles and miles of alleys and basements were we all would explore. We also would walk on Jerome Ave. to go Ice-skating or go to the Concourse hotel to see Mickey Mantle as well as the Original NY Giants in the winter. Then one summer every one moved to co-op City and from that time on it was never the same. That was until I discovered Handball and life in the Bronx was good again 🙂 I live in Dallas now and doing well. My kids are popular here because they are from the Bronx. It’s cool here. People don’t know whether to love us or hate us. In any event, when we have to be heard, no one stands in our way. Thank you my Bronx. I could not imagine my life without you in it. You are now in me and I will share you with all. We miss you all! Schools: PS, 44, 88, 90, 67, Catholic: Christ the King, Sacred Heart HS (Don
I can picture a brand new spaldeen vividly today, almost smell it. What a great feeling to go to the local “candy store” and buy a new spaldeen. Always preferable to a pensy pinky, which were also good.We used spaldeens in stickball, punchball, fungo, slapball, A’s-up,stoopball, and different “box games”-boxball, box baseball, five boxes, hit the penny, etc., in Bayside, Queens. As far as Johnny Pump goes, it brings to mind the old game “Johnny on the Pony”. I would love to buy some spaldeens, if there is a place to order them, I’d like to know.
I’ve been reading this site for about an hour. There is no doubt that he Spaldeen was/is the ball of choice for Brooklynites in Bensonhurst. I haven’t seen anyone discuss the importance of buying a ball with a lot of powder on it because it broke much better when you threw a “coive” ball. On another subject, I can’t believe how many people have never heard of a “Johnny Pump.” Does any know the origin of this word.
does anyone know how the term or word “johnny pump”came to mean a fire hydrant?
Back in my neighborhood in South Brooklyn, no one had a pool — not even the kiddie pool. The park in our neighboorhood, Carroll park, was divided into 3 sections and covered an entire block. One end section was the kiddie section — with kiddie swings, slides, and seesaws. There was a large rectangular section in the middle that was two steps down and surrounded by a wrought iron fence. At each end was a sprinkler. Everyone who didn’t hit the beaches in the hot weather, hit Carroll Park to play under the sprinklers and splash around. The easiest way to cool off if the johnny pumps weren’t open!!
How about “Concentration” The hand movements were two pats to each knee [while sitting cross legged on the floor], 2 claps, and then snap your fingers on each hand once. You kept repeating this movement while singing the verse. “Concentration . . . name of . . . GIRLS . . . starting with . . . A” Everyone sat in a circle and it went around the circle, every person doing the next letter in the alphabet. It went on and on until someone messed up, and then you would start all over again The subject [word in Caps above] could be anything you wanted, and you could start with any letter of the alphabet. Great way to kill time on a summer’s day until they opened up the johnny pump!!!
Sliding pond was the only name we used to called them in Da Bronx. The monkey bars were made of steel and anything else we used to climb on (like the big turtles,the cheese and all the benches) was made of concreat. There was no such thing as rubber mats,wood mulch or any type of padding on the playgrounds in any of the playgrounds I grew up in. It was all concreat or black top. If you fell and got hurt you would run upstairs to your mom. She would patch you up,and you would be back downstairs playing again. Now a days when kids get hurt in the playground, from playing too hard or from there own fault for doing something stupid, like we all used to do. Do you remember hearing this saying in the playground ” Go head I dare you, Chicken” Usually means somebody was going end up getting hurt. Now the kids run inside to there parents. Then the parents take them to the Lawyers office looking to sue somebody for there kids stupidity. Do you remember Johnny Pumps (Fire hydrants)? Thats what we used to call them in my neighbor hood………..
Here in Queens, Ny a suburb of NYC – being “deported” New Yorkers in my day – 1959 – early 60’s we played in the street – using the “Johnny pump”, manhole cover, etc., as our bases – and the ball definately had to bounce first. C.Umberto