Monday, August 31, 2015

Games Kids Played Back When #nostalgia #western @JacquieRogers

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Games Kids Played Back When
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We just spent 38 hours without power.  Not so bad, you say?  I have a brand new release and couldn't publicize it.  Yes, the publisher does more than most, but these days, if you don't promote, you don't sell.  

Ahem.  This will be a short post since I had so little time to get going on it, because, well, we had no power.  So here's my new release to the right.  Kudos to Livia Reasoner who designed the cover.  It's a fun western romance with attack goats and a killer chicken named Jethro.

About that power outage... Three adults and four boys live in this house.  The four boys were utterly lost—no Xbox, no Kindle, no computer.  So no video games.  They had no idea how to entertain themselves but quickly devised a game where they played characters of their favorite video games.  Before that happened, though, they wanted to know what we did when we were kids.

No one made up our worlds for us.  Yes, sometimes we played in Marshal Dillon’s world, or Paladin’s world, or Samantha Stevens’ world, but mostly we made up our own.  Someone would be the hero, someone the villain, and then there was the damsel in distress.  We all hated being the damsel so usually the smallest kid (boy or girl) got stuck with that.

And we played all sorts of games:
  • Tag (various versions)
  • Mother May I
  • Duck, Duck, Goose
  • All Bears Are Out Tonight
  • Anti-Anti-I-Over
  • Red Rover
  • Dodge ball
  • Red Light, Green Light
  • Fox and Geese
  • King of Bunker Hill (on a 20-tier haystack)
  • Swing the Statue
  • Double Dutch jump rope
  • Hop Scotch

We rode our horses everywhere, and when not horseback, we played with marbles, jacks, tops, and hula hoops.  Could you ever get going with the paddle that had the string and ball attached?  My dad was pretty good but I never did get the hang of it.  The lucky kids had Lincoln Logs (made of actual wood) and Tinkertoys.

On hot summer days, we made cucumber boats and raced them in the stock tank.  We caught frogs and horny toads, and we looked for gold.  We hunted pheasant and duck.  Not quail, though—Mom wouldn’t have it.  During the winter, we read books, whittled, and gathered fodder for more fun games in the summer.

I have to say, I feel sorry that our four boys have no interest in any of the above—they do love their video games.


  1. You were really lucky, Jacquie. Gosh, we didn't have time to play when I was a kid. First, there was the newspaper route-Monday thru Sunday-about 1200 households. Late morning, I pumped gas at my uncle's service station. After lunch, there was the restaurant--a cafe where I washed dishes, bussed tables, prepared the salads for dinner, swept the floors, and polished the counter top to a gleaming yellow and magenta. After a quick dinner, I had to drive 25 miles to the local mall where I worked at night in the clothing department at a place called Bargain City. When I got home late in the evening, my parents would greet me with something like, "Where you been all day? Have you done your homework? You know, there are chores to do around here, young man." other thing. When I was a kid, I also learned to lie real well.

    1. Ha! Well, in the not-lying category, I did have to feed 50 calves and 200 head of yearlings before school, etc. Washing milkers, chasing the neighbors cows off our place... on and on. But on one Saturday a month, my folks went to the Grange dance, so that's when most of these games were played. The rest of the time, we mostly worked, rode horses and bikes (usually not at the same time, hahaha), or played pretend. Jacks, marbles, and hula hoops were school lunchtime activities.

  2. Whew...You were definitely much busier, although I read once that you did fail Cow-punching 101.

    1. Miserably. Hahaha. Took me a while to live that down.

  3. Wasn't much of a game player either, Jacquie. I went hunting and fishing, read books, and secretly rode a distant neighbors horses. But I did ride my bike all over town and into the country. I did go to work at age ten in a grocery store, after school, and through the summers. Then I got a paper route. It was eleven miles long and wore out two bicycles. The day President Kennedy died; it took forever to deliver those thick newspapers! After that, my childhood was over and it became work, work, and more work.

  4. LOVED Double Dutch jump rope. We were quite a team, my friends and I...