Tag Archives: Games

Terrifying Traumatic Tuesday

5 Feb

Yesterday, I wrote a happy little story about the carefree life of a young girl growing up in Chicago in the 1950’s. My train of thought was inspired by the game “steal the bacon” that we played as kids. I was waxing nostalgic about the simple games that required no batteries, data plans, or wireless remotes. My train must have gotten off the track, because I was later informed that I must have forgotten all the terrifying and traumatic events that took place during those years. Growing up on the southside of Chicago was often a dark and scary place. There were break-ins, muggings, and beatings happening all around us. Yes, I remember every single moment. I didn’t forget.

Unfortunately, I remember every frightening detail. Being an artist and writer, my right brain is very visually oriented and I have the memory of an ancient elephant. I could draw pictures in detail of my childhood home, the interior of each room, and pieces of furniture dating back well over fifty years. I remember old neighbors, and names of kids I went to grammar school with. Lambert Benavidez, if you ever read this, I had such a crush on you in the second grade. And, Bunny Masalski, we were best friends in ’63. What ever happened to you?

My memory isn’t bad, but rather, my choosing to write about the pleasant events and experiences is what brings me joy and comfort. I was just trying to convey that our simple childhood games have been replaced by high-tech mindless handheld brain-drainers. Life has its evils and perils. I just prefer not to write about them or read about them.Tuesday might be terrifying and traumatic for somebody somewhere, but for me, today is terrific. Happy Tuesday!

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Monday Memories: Chicago in the ’50’s

5 Feb

Growing up on the south side of Chicago in the 1950’s was a blast. Well, at least I thought it was.To quote my mother, “We were poor, but everyone else was, too, so we didn’t know we were poor.”

Kids weren’t plugged-in and tuned-out back then. Everyone walked to school without earbuds blasting from an iPod or texting their every thought. After school, we played outside until we dropped from exhaustion or the front porch light flashed on and off, signaling time to come in for dinner and a bath.

Did you ever play steal the bacon? We used an old scrub brush as the bacon. Do you even know what a scrub brush is? Just kidding! We had two teams, each assigned a number. If the number one was called, the two kids who were ones, ran to the middle of the sidewalk, and one kid would try to grab the scrub brush and get back to home-base before getting tagged by the other kid. When we had a large group, we played in the middle of the street. Not much traffic back then. After 6pm, most everyone was home.

If you were a little girl, you played hop scotch and jump rope. Then, there was the complicated art of double dutch. I vaguely remember being able to jump between the two ropes, but I wasn’t that great at it. I spent endless hours playing with my Barbie doll. I made clothes for her with scraps of fabric and yarn. They didn’t have Barbie dream houses or pink convertibles back then. No Ken doll either. I think my Barbie was going to join the convent and become a nun. Can you imagine? Sister Mary Barbie?

Yes, life was simpler back then. I’m not sure if today’s technology and modern conveniences have really changed the world for the better. The jury’s still out on that one. Wish I still had my Barbie!

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