Southern Childhood Games

Good morning. I am not drinking coffee and you don't want to come to see me today for I am subbing at Lowndes High today in voodoo (math). This is really a hoot for I am not a math person and don't want to be although some of my best friends and family ares That gene did not become a part of my genetic makeup. However, after 25 years as a school librarian and teacher, I can read instructions and keep them quiet and on task.

I think not liking math goes back to my 1st grade teacher who made us do our math before school started and if we didn't we had to do it at recess. Because my bus was always late, I never had recess in the morning. In the good old days we recess in the morning and afternoon. In today's schools, you don't have recesses, you have PE and are graded on it. The poor children are missing a lot of fun for recess was great, especially if you lived in the country and did not have playmates close by. We had slides, jungle gyms and we ran and chased each other and played games.

Have you ever heard of the game, jacks? You have these little metal jacks and little rubber ball which you throw up in the air and while it is in the air you pick up the jacks and catch the ball. You began with one and added one with each toss of the ball. I was good at it and loved to play with the other girls.

Another of our favorite games was hopscotch. You drew a group of squares on the dirt and threw a rock and then hopped through the squares skipping the one with the rock. I am including a link for those who are from the modern days. It was great fun and occasionally I still see children playing it with those mind-grabber things in their ears. How can you use your God-given imagination if your head is full of stuff you listen to from those little ear buds stuck in your ears?

Then there were the team games like Red Rover and Dodge Ball. These could get pretty rough and you could do some serious damage with that ball you threw at people if they couldn't run fast enough to escape. Of course, you tried to take out those you didn't like first and it could become pretty ruthless. After all, we played to win, not just play. Being little and quick was a great advantage and I used it with great success.

I did have trouble with Red Rover though for I couldn't hold very tightly and people could run through my arms. This one usually was my downfall but I would give it my best. It wasn't my fault I was a little runt as my friends would say. Mama put a brick on my head so I wouldn't grow very tall and granddaddy gave me coffee which stunts your growth.

We also had a little school store which would open in the afternoon recesses where we could by a coke for a dime, a candy bar for a dime, and several candies for a nickel. They even had chocolate milk and orange juice and we would take our dimes and nickels, if we had them, and enjoy. Now we didn't always have money, but mama would give us homemade cookies, cupcakes or other goodies to take and this was even better. Other kids would beg for a bite for everyone knew how mama could cook! She was the one who always brought the cupcakes for our class parties.

This is another thing our kids don't get to enjoy. Our room mothers gave us parties at Thanksgiving, Christmas, Valentines and Easter. The last day of school was always a field trip and big picnic. Then there were birthday parties throughout the year. Did we have school? We sure did and it was hard, but we also had time to enjoy being a kid. We also didn't have all these little electronic mind grabbers which suck out our brains and make us brain dead.

School is certainly different these days. I have seen more boobs and butts and heard more trash talk than I have heard since I left in June. Thank goodness it is a minority but where in heaven's name are the parents and why don't they teach these bright, young minds respect for adults and that trash talk is wrong?

This enough sermonizing for today and....

Nuff said,

The Georgia Peach

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