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AS A KID, SOME OF MY FAVORITE PLAY AREAS WERE:

 
 
Reply Wed 1 Feb, 2006 04:32 pm
...the field behind our house. There were several large bushes with cozy, roomy spaces underneath the limbs. I galloped around on my imaginary horse, content that my trusty Roy Rogers/Gene Autry pistol would aid in fighting off the aggressors.
...riding my JC Penny bicycle around and about. I enjoyed the feel of air skidding off of my face. Once, I rode around our city of 60,000 people.
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sozobe
 
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Reply Wed 1 Feb, 2006 04:43 pm
My alley!

There were a bunch of kids on my block, and we'd congregate in the alley. Site of bike races + jumps, numerous games of tag, ball games, etc., etc.
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2PacksAday
 
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Reply Wed 1 Feb, 2006 04:50 pm
I live in a very small town, pop 700ish when I was a kid.

Outside of town there was two small streams....{drainage ditches actually but streams sound better}...that ran side by side with a piece of land between them. Several of us boys used to play there a lot, we built bridges and log cabins out of fallen trees, was a cool place.
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fishin
 
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Reply Wed 1 Feb, 2006 04:58 pm
We had a large parcel (several thousand acres) of woods across the street so most of us kids spent our time in there building forts (and entire little villages of forts!). There were trails all over the place in there and you could follow them all the way down to the river where we has rope swings setup for summer time. We spent a lot of time swimming and fishing in that river.
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Dartagnan
 
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Reply Wed 1 Feb, 2006 05:00 pm
A basketball court and playground. Little kids played on the swings and bigger guys played hoops. No adults intervened, except to call kids in for meals. Total kid anarchy, and I never remember any real fights...
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sozobe
 
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Reply Wed 1 Feb, 2006 05:01 pm
Also the Mississippi river basin -- a few blocks away, we'd go there often.
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Sturgis
 
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Reply Wed 1 Feb, 2006 05:02 pm
In the city we mainly just hung around in front of one place or another and if the weather got bad we went inside someone's apartment or any other place we could, like a basement or a hallway or wander around the Woolworths store (more than 3 or 4 made that one impossible...store managers were so mean). Bowling alleys were easy to hang out in for hours before we would be asked to leave. A lot of the time we would just wander around until it was time to go home.

Outside of the city there were these huge plots of land called back yards and all sorts of fun could be had there, miniature football games, baseball, alligator, cops and robbers, lots of things to do and do all over the place.

In neither location did I have a favorite play area.
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Chumly
 
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Reply Wed 1 Feb, 2006 05:03 pm
In the dark

At night

In the basement

In the corner

Where it's moist

Where it's cool

With the big spiders

I lay in wait

Pounce!

Stab!

Suck dry!
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2PacksAday
 
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Reply Wed 1 Feb, 2006 05:18 pm
I also live close to the Mississippi, we used to fish and swim in the river quite often, now I wouln't eat anything that came from it or much less swim in it.

I live about 20 minutes from the confluence of the Miss and the Ohio rivers.
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sozobe
 
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Reply Wed 1 Feb, 2006 05:20 pm
Cool! That's quite a confluence!

I lived in Minneapolis, where it took some doing to get from the top of the bank (where the roads were) down to the actual river -- we didn't swim there much. We spent more time in the forest-type area on the banks.
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KiwiChic
 
  1  
Reply Wed 1 Feb, 2006 05:28 pm
I lived on a farm so there were plenty to do, I used to ride around on my horse most days exploring places.......climb hills, eeling in the rivers etc
great fun when you were a kid!
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djjd62
 
  1  
Reply Wed 1 Feb, 2006 05:57 pm
country kid myself, backyards, barns, woodlots, ditchbanks, fields (hide and go seek on a fall night in a cornfield, the best)

played until dark
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littlek
 
  1  
Reply Wed 1 Feb, 2006 07:07 pm
All my favorite spots were outside. I loved to be in trees, I'd climb up and hang out. My favoite trees were the big pine across the street in Sheila's yard and the crab apple in our own yard. Also, I spent a lot of time wandering around in the wooded area behind my neighborhood. There were three little trickles of water we called, quit originally, the three streams.
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Chai
 
  1  
Reply Wed 1 Feb, 2006 07:39 pm
One specific place I remember.

For a few years my parents would sponser a booth for a boat show at the Asbury Park Convention Center.

http://www.homestead.com/njrockmap/files/AsburyConvention_Hall.JPG

It's right on the beach, today it's run down, but in it's day it was quite grand.

Anyway, the boats really bored me (this is in the time frame between 7 and 9 I think, but boats still bore me).
I would sneak off and go exploring. I came across an unlocked door and since no one noticed me, I slipped through. It was all the backstage area of the center. Small hallways, steep stairs, dark corners. I was frightened and thrilled at the same time. I snuck around for what seemed like hours. Keeping alert for sounds of anyone so I could quickly escape. I found a small opening that led to a balcony of sorts, that looked out over the whole convention center. I was invisible from where I was, and spied on everything.
Each night for the week or whatever the show lasted, each year, I kept my secret and would explore these halls.
The most exciting thing was that once I heard some music, and followed it to a small room where a film of some sort was being shown. It might have been a porno film for all I know. I just remember being really quiet and seeing that it was all men in that room, so I crept away before they could catch me. I just knew something bad would happen if they did.

God, I'm so lucky I didn't get raped at some point.

I used to do stuff like that, like if we went to NY and my parents were doing business with their lawyer or something, I'd ride up and down these elevators for as long as I could get away with it.

I was a strange child.

OH! Here's a picture of the carousel house that was right down from the convention center....

http://www.side-o-lamb.com/AP_Casino_Carousel2.JPG
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fishin
 
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Reply Wed 1 Feb, 2006 08:00 pm
Until I read Lil'k's post I had forgooten all about the brook!

We had a small one that drained a smallish swamp area. We used to build dams on it all summer long and look for salamanders under the rocks. My buddy Bobby always wanted to keep the ones with the brown stipes down their backs (we always called them brown racers - I don''t know what the real name for them is) because they were fast. I always kept the black ones with the white or yellow dots on them.
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djjd62
 
  1  
Reply Wed 1 Feb, 2006 08:00 pm
alot of the woodlot is still around where i used to play, but other areas are gone

canadian folksinger bob snider wrote a great song about the folly of people trying to improve upon places for kids to play

Parkette
Bob Snider

When I was a kid, I found a
robin's egg and hid it on a
timber in an old abandoned shack

that was sitting in a field
full of raspberry bushes
with a crab apple tree around the back.

And a stream going by
at the bottom of a hill
with a rock in the middle
and if you sat still

You could see the minnows swimming
from an overhanging limb
you could listen to the heat bug trill.

And early every day
all my friends and I would play
digging holes and finding gold
among the rocks.

And looking for salamanders,
and eating all the berries,
and rolling down the hill in a box.

Until on day they came with their machinery
and dozed down the shack
and hacked up the greenery
and stuffed the steam in a concrete pipe
and leveled the hill away.

And then they built a couple of mounds,
to make it look round,
and brought in loads of sod.
And planted a row of tress
that came up to our knees;
without a speck of shade it looked so odd.

And there were no more dragon flies
and no cray fishin;
and they called it a Parkette
after a politician

And put up a sign
saying no ball playing
and nobody ever went there anymore.
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littlek
 
  1  
Reply Wed 1 Feb, 2006 08:04 pm
Fishin - what did you do with the salamanders you kept?

We'd look for animal trace, check the little damp 'potholes' you find someti es at the base of tree trunks that used to be twinned. We found skunk cabbage, porcupine quills, salamanders, mosses and lichens, mushrooms..... now it's all new housing developments.
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fishin
 
  1  
Reply Wed 1 Feb, 2006 08:09 pm
littlek wrote:
Fishin - what did you do with the salamanders you kept?

We'd look for animal trace, check the little damp 'potholes' you find someti es at the base of tree trunks that used to be twinned. We found skunk cabbage, porcupine quills, salamanders, mosses and lichens, mushrooms..... now it's all new housing developments.


You know those cheap plastic kid's swimming pools? the ones that are about 5' around and a foot deep? My little sister had one and I sort of took it. That became our salamander home each summer for a few years. Come early fall we'd take them all back down to the swamp area and let them loose again.

The woods by the house I grew up in are pretty much gone now too. That whole area shot up in value during the housing boom in the 80s and a thousand or so houses were bulit in there. They built a new school in the middle of it to handle all the kids that are there now. Kinda sad.
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littlek
 
  1  
Reply Wed 1 Feb, 2006 08:19 pm
You know where Acton MA is, right? Seems like everyone lives there now.

So, the salamaders lived all summer? Good animal husbandry!
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Mapleleaf
 
  1  
Reply Wed 1 Feb, 2006 09:01 pm
This is grrrrrrreat as Tony the Tiger would say. In someways sad....it feels so good it almost hurts.

sozobe...David lived across the street, adjacent to the alley. Most, of which, slanted down to the next street. There was basketball goal on the front of the garage. Wow! Endless games...I may have received my sex education in those gatherings.

2PacksAday...I was born in Springfield, Missouri. Most of my relatives lived in West Plains, MO.

Sturgis...While a student at George Williams College in South Chicago, I would watch the children play on the streets. City kids can do a lot with a ball and a broomstick.

Chai Tea...Yes...you were a lucky lady. But some areas during selected years were fairly safe places. I roamed a lot. Nothing happened to create a sense of fear. The latter 40's and early 50's were like that.

djjd62...neat song...you did good. You might want to share that on Letty's radio thread.
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