Playful, Pius or Remembered Stuff

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Saturday, January 30, 2010

Before texting

In the really old days many things were different. No one today ever heard of ration stamps, but when I was a kid and I found meat ration stamps on the market floor it was a happier event than finding a five dollar bill! During the second world war, common citizens of the USA were limited as to what they could buy of many commodities. Every car had a block letter decal in the lower right (or was it left?) corner of the windshield. Most of us had an "A" card, and were limited to fewer ration stamps than many others. When gas was purchased we not only paid money, but had to prove that we were allowed to buy that much gas by giving the station attendant the requisite amount of ration stamps from our book as well. Few people complained very loudly about it, because we felt a camaraderie in patriotism. We were all pulling together to defeat the enemy.

When we kids wanted to make contact with our friends, we seldom used the telephone. In fact we didn't even knock or ring the doorbell. And, of course, this was long before cell phones and texting were even a dream. Kids spent the Summer outside. After breakfast and chores we left the house and often didn't appear again until late afternoon. Mom insisted that I come home before dark, as did the parents of most of my friends. When I left the house I would walk (sometimes ride my bicycle) to my friend's house and stand on his lawn and call his name. "Jimmyyyyyy....Jimmyyyyyy...." Until he came to the porch and told me he had chores to do, or he would come out to play with me. I dare say there are few people who remember the days when we would "call" for friends.

I remember the day we got the "gang" together (we were not really a gang in any modern sense of the word) and decided to play over-the-line. Now over-the-line is a variety of softball that can be played by just a few guys on each team. Frequently we were as few as three guys on each team. One would play shortstop, one would play left field and the third one would be rover, or play third base. The batter would be required to place the ball "over-the-line" between second and third base to be credited with a base hit. If you could drive it over the head of the fielder it was a home run. If the ground ball was cleanly handled by the infielder it was an out, or a double play (if there was an imaginary man on first). Of course a caught ball was also an out. We played that many a day. The time I recall, however, was a holiday of some sort and the grade school playground was closed. We simply climbed the chain link fence and played our game. When lunch time came, we were more thirsty than hungry so we climbed the fence and walked to the local store where we bought quarts (not liters) of soda. I remember up-ending a quart of grapefruit soda and feeling quite content when I finished. We all returned to the school where we climbed the fence again and played until we needed to report home before dark.

Now those were the good old days!

1 comment:

  1. I have old ration stamps from the Netherlands. They're pretty cool.