Remember these games?


In the woods we played games like "Release". We had teams and a jail, the object was to capture a member of the opposing team and put him in the jail. His team would then try to sneak up and tag him to "release" him from the jail. The games would last for hours and we roamed all over the woods to hide from the opposing team while trying to release a captive. Back home at the house, we had a good sized lawn which we cut with a reel type power lawn mower, one of the first in the neighborhood. Earlier, my grandfather had cut it with a push mower. We played games on the lawn. In my youngest days, we played “Kick the Wicket” and “Hide and Seek”. Later on it was football. We always had a football game going in the side yard. We also had a "basketball court" at an old barn on the lot next door

We had a hoop stuck on the side of the barn and we cleared out bushes and weeds to make a bare dirt "court". It was not like the smooth courts kids have now but we spent many hours shooting baskets. Fortunately, we didn't have adults telling us what to do or how to do things. Bicycles were big, we all had bikes. We didn't roller skate because there weren't many good sidewalks. We rode around the neighborhood on our bikes and set up ramps to jump on. The sort of things do now on skateboards In the summer, I learned to swim at the Trenton YMCA. My mother took me there once or twice a week to learn. After swimming, I did some craft work while waiting for her to return. One thing I made was a woven seat for a small rocking chair. Until recently, the chair was still around. Later on, Roger and I went to The Trenton Art School on Saturday mornings to learn how to draw. I remember the classes but I don’t think I was especially good at them. I was one of the few kids who never had any music lessons - I don’t know why I didn’t. Neither mother nor dad was especially musical, perhaps that was the reason. I did like to sing in Sunday School and in school in my younger years. I have a little booklet I made in which I listed my favorite people and things. The songs I listed were Santa Lucia, This is My Father’s World, Marzie Doats and few others. In the woods, we had lots of myths and folk lore. We got warts from frogs, we cured warts by putting milkweed sap on the wart. We chewed sassafras twigs (because they tasted good). We occasionally tied to smoke “lady cigars”- the catalpa tree seed pods We made rubber band guns. The stock was a 24” piece of 2x3, the trigger was half a wood clothes pin, the trigger guard was a nail, The trigger was held in place at the end of the wood by a big rubber band and the ammunition was also a big rubber band. We also made stilts from 2x3’s with a step of the same material. Of course we made fishing rods and sometimes Bows and arrows. There were several good “kits” for making bows and for a while that was a hot item for young boys