I’m in the early stages of writing my memoir and what has come up for me while I was Mind-Mapping was the childhood games I use to play. I was reminiscing of the fun I use to have playing skelzies, stoop-ball, handball and hot peas and butter. These games were active and required a skill. Skelzies was a game that you had to have good knees, a keen eye and a good bottle top filled with wax. It was played on the ground so I often would end up with torn jeans and a dirty blouse. But, I liked the game because you really had to be able to aim your top into one of the 13 boxes or push an opponent out of the box you wanted to occupy. It was best played late in the day, playing in the hot sun on the hot tar was not good.
Stoop ball was another game I enjoyed. I don’t remember how you won this game. I know someone would hit the ball off the stoop and a group of us would try to catch it, but that’s where my memory fades…Handball was a serious game. We played it in Public School 67 school yard. We would get our Spaldine balls from Sarjay’s store on Myrtle Avenue. You really had to have a good ball and Sapldines was the best. If you had a quarter you could get two, one ball would always split in half if you hit it too hard against the concrete wall. I got lots of scraped knees and knuckles playing this game. The fun part was that it was all about team work, you worked with your partner to hit the ball so that the opposing team would miss hitting it. Some handball players were really good. They would be on the court all day and you had to “call it” to play in the next game.
Now, Hot Peas and Butter (come and get your supper!) was not one of my favorite games. I did not like getting hit with the belt. You really had to run fast back to “base” before the person who found the belt beat the crap out of you. I remember one time I just left the game. The girl was vicious with the belt.
If I had an all time favorite pass time as a child and merging young teen it would be riding my scooter. It was a handmade scooter with a wooden milk crate box and metal skates for wheels. I could ride that scooter down “Dead Man’s Hill” in Fort Greene Park all day.
Even though writing my memoir is time consuming and takes commitment the memories is what’s keeping me going. Do you have any childhood games you use to play?