October 5, 2014

Time For Recess!

0 comments
I already wrote about the school playground I remember, but I've come across more images that bring back memories. I had forgotten how many activities there were on the playground.

 photo Tetherball.jpg I'm not saying I loved tetherball, but it was the least difficult of sports involving balls simply because the ball couldn't roll away. Thus the word "tether", eh?

I don't remember being taught any particular playground game, but the idea for us was that whoever got the ball to wind clear around the pole was the winner. There was an imaginary line separating the sides of the pole and you had to stay on your own side.

The picture below shows Four Square, which was like a four-player close-in game of volleyball. We had those red rubber balls that were so ubiquitous in the sixties and seventies. There was always some Four Square player that could slam the ball in another player's square, thus putting that person "out" for failing to return the serve.

I don't remember boys playing Four Square. I didn't pay much attention, but it seems to me that they tended to play team ball sports, like baseball. And I don't remember any girls playing that. It's just the way it was.

I wasn't any good, really, at either of these games. But oddly, I enjoyed them.
 photo FourSquare.jpg
Hop Scotch squares were painted on the asphalt part of the playground and I played it often with my friends. I thought it was a dumb game even then.

Now, playing it at someone's house, you could draw the boxes to make it a bit more difficult. We used rocks to draw the squares at Brenda's house. (I know how that sounds, but truly, sidewalk chalk is a modern invention. And my mother had to play Hop Scotch in the dirt. heh  heh. Just kidding.)

Again, I don't know what the "official" rules of Hop Scotch are, I only know how we played it. And it was boring.

Thank goodness we moved on to jump rope by about fourth grade. "Red and yeller, catch a feller..." was one of the chants, I can't remember the rest. And let us never forget Double Dutch! It was harder to be a turner in jump rope than to be an actual jumper.
 photo HopScotch.jpg
 photo DrinkingFountain.jpg It still amazes me that we never got thirsty on the playground but the very second we went back into the school, we felt entirely dehydrated. That's the world of a child, just as we never ever got too hot or too cold. (It was irritating as hell in the winter when the principal declared "indoor recess", which was just PE all over again, not that that's so terrible, but we wanted out.)

I remember standing in line at the drinking fountain. The thirst became more urgent with every passing second.

Once, a boy in line argued with me about how much water he could drink. He swore he'd once drunk a whole gallon of water all at once without stopping. I swore that could not be true and then I trumped my own argument by saying I'd once drunk a whole gallon and then some.

The water in these fountains was so incredibly cold. One of our teachers called the fountain a "bubbler" and we thought that was hilarious. It still makes me smile.

And this whole thing makes me thirsty!