A Time of Self Entertainment
A longtime friend, Bill, sends me a trivia question each day. So far I’ve managed to answer each one correctly. One of the more recent questions was to give the name of a game he described. the answer was jacks, a game I played for hours on end either by myself or with friends when I was a child.
In commenting that I had given the right answer, Bill said it’s sad how video games and computer games have become so popular. He noted how, when we were children, we could entertain ourselves for hours and hours using our imagination.
In the winter, after a snowfall, you’d find us sledding or playing fox and geese or making snow angels, snowmen, building forts, and having snowball fights. Or we’d go ice skating.
Summer nights were filled with Hide and Seek, Red Rover Red Rover, Statue, Mother May I, Tag and more.
The long daylight hours were taken up with riding bikes or playing baseball either in a friend’s yard or in the park. Girls played hopscotch and jacks. We’d beg our dads to make us stilts. Or we’d puncha a hole on either side of coffee cans, pass a long string through the holes, then pull up the string and knot it so a loop was formed. We’d hold the string taut, put our feet on top of the cans and go clanking away down the sidewalk chasing each other. Sure we fell down. But it didn’t stop us. If the fall resulted in a skinned knee, our moms would put mercurochrome on it, add a band-aid and we’d be back in the competition.
Two cans and a long string would become an instant “telephone.” I remember fastening roller skates to my shoes, using a key to tighten them, and rollerskating for so long that my feet felt like they were vibrating when I removed the skates.
An old sheet or blanket, with the help of a hammer and wood pegs made from scrap lumber, could be turned into tents where many an adventure took place from being cowboys to pirates.
Growing up years for those of us in our late sixties and upwards were simpler times. We weren’t in such a hurry that we forgot how to enjoy life.
I’ve said for years that what our world needs is more front porches and fewer clocks.