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We Played Hide & Seek
Remembrances of my childhood...
We didn’t have television back then - had never even heard of it.So what else are the kids in the neighborhood to do each evening after supper as we tried to squeeze as much playtime as possible out of each day.Moms were washing up the dishes, clearing the table and getting things ready for the next day, dads were reading the paper or listening to the news on the radio, and our older brothers and sisters who didn’t have time to listen to us kids anyway were busy doing their own thing, but that was alright with us.We could always gather up the other kids for a game or two of Hide and Seek before having to come inside for the night.My best friend Vincent called it Hoopy Hide, but it didn’t matter what you called it.Everyone has played it and our moms wouldn’t let us play in the house because dad couldn’t read the paper or listen to the news with a bunch of kids making all that noise, so we kids were happy just gathering under the only streetlight in our block and deciding who would be ‘it’ first.
Why not use the manhole cover in the middle of the street?
The street light was on a slight bank at Miss Moore’s house on the corner, but she didn’t like kids and wouldn’t let us run through her yard as we played so we couldn’t use the light pole for home base.The light flooded the whole intersection though so we had plenty of other places to hide as we played.Vincent at first said we could use his dad’s car as home base since it was parked in the front of their house and also on the corner.But after a few days we had to pick another place for our home base because Vincent said his dad didn’t like all those dirty little hand prints all over his car.We looked and looked for something suitable to use and then I said, “Why not use the manhole cover in the middle of the street?” If we were ‘it’ we could just sit on the manhole cover and shut our eyes as we counted to a hundred.It was perfect, plenty of light from the street light and we could all go running in almost every direction… the only time it wouldn’t be ideal was when a car was coming down the street which wasn’t very often back then.
Did you play Hide and Seek as a child?
Silence, all I heard was the crickets' chirpin’...
One of my friends was named Harold Winters.He could run really fast, so fast that he could outrun any of the rest of us kids.While playing Hide and Seek, if you ventured far from home base in search of him, he would probably out run you back to the base and make it ‘home free’.That meant that even if he was the last one caught you still had to outrun him back and tag the base before he did, but he almost always won that race.I remember one time though I was ‘it’, and as I sat on that ol’ manhole cover with my eyes shut and countin’ “5, 10, 15, 20…” – then, finally “…85, 90, 95, 100 here I come, ready or not…”Then, silence! All I heard was the crickets chirpin’ and I ventured out slowly, looking around cautiously.I think I caught Mary first, then Jackie Beeler, Bobby Roe and then Vincent, but where was Harold.I bet he had hidden in that old wild cherry tree behind Vincent’s house.That was his favorite place.
It was Harold, it had to be
I was determined to catch Harold that night by beating him back to home base and tagging him out so he would have to be ‘it’ for once.So silently I crept over by Vincent’s house to look around the corner while looking over my shoulder all the while making sure Harold didn’t make it back to the base and say ‘home free’ before I caught him.As I stepped around the house from the lighted side into the darkness, I heard a rustle of leaves and a thud, like someone landing on the ground after a jump from the lower limbs of that ole wild cherry tree.It was Harold, it had to be.Quickly I turned and started for home base just as fast as I could run.We must have come into the light from the street light about the same time and the race was on.
“1, 2, 3 on Harold”
Somehow I made it to home base just in time to hear a tumble and laughter from all the other kids who were waiting anxiously for this game to end so we could play one more time before heading in for the night.It appears that in his haste to make it ‘home free’ again, he didn’t see little Mary as she sat behind the car at Vincent’s home and he had tripped over her in his eagerness to win one more time.As he looked up and our eyes met, I stood triumphantly in the middle of the street on that ole manhole cover and he knew that this time he had not made it to the home base in time.With a smile on my face and a feeling of accomplishment I simply called out, “1, 2, 3 on Harold.”
© 2010 SamSonS