Friday Five: Take Me to the Old Playground

I always forget to mention this, but these are always from Friday 5.

  1. How confidently could you pick up and employ a jumprope, hula hoop. yoyo, and set of jacks? I think I’d do pretty well with all but the yoyo, honestly, and even then it’s not that I can’t use a yoyo–it’s just that I can’t remember the few cool yoyo tricks I used to know.
  2. How are the playgrounds of your childhood different today? I didn’t spend too much time on playgrounds as a kid other than at school recesses, but I haven’t soon those schools or playgrounds in years, so I can’t speak to how they’ve changed, if at all. They were Catholic schools, though, so if anything, I’d guess that they’ve deteriorated because they can’t afford to maintain them. But I do remember going to East Park a couple times as a kid when I lived in Connellsville, and at the time, it was pretty terrible–run down, trash everywhere, etc. But by high school, when the early Craigs were fans of wearing wigs and/or strange hats and taking silly pictures on playgrounds, it had been fixed up a good bit with new equipment, as far as I could tell, and it was much cleaner. Last I heard, they host free movie screenings there in the summer, which is pretty great. The area really needs community activities like that, especially free ones.
  3. What’s a game you and your childhood friends made up, or what’s a rule you and your childhood friends made up that made an existing game more interesting or less likely to cause a fight? I don’t remember too many actual made-up games, like with actual rules–I remember more little play things. Like, Meri and Nolan used to have this little box filled with bouncy balls. Somehow we got the idea to shut ourselves in the back stairwell–I’m not sure how familiar anyone is with older houses, but some, including theirs and my childhood home, had back staircases that were closed off with doors. In theirs, it leads from the kitchen up to the master bathroom and in mine, it led from the kitchen up to the second-floor hallway. But at their house, we’d close the door, sit on the bottom stair or two, and the other would dump the box of bouncy balls down the stairs so they’d fly everywhere. I think we called it “Earthquake.” And then we had “Twister,” which probably happened around the same time as the movie, where we basically just ran around the yard pretending we were running from a tornado. Keep in mind tornadoes almost never actually happen in Pennsylvania. We also added a rule to Monopoly where we put money under Free Parking and you got it all if you landed on it, but I can’t remember where it came from. I think it was any money anyone had to pay to the bank. And the Rando Cardrissian Cards Against Humanity rule is absolutely worth mentioning–it’s where you draw a card from the deck at random and put it into play as though an extra player were in the game. It gets really funny when the Rando card ends up being the winner, too, which I’ve seen happen multiple times in a game.
  4. What fad from your childhood do you remember with fondness or disdain? I grew up in the ’90s, and ’90s nostalgia  is huge now, so pretty much everything is remembered with fondness. But personally, I miss pogs the most, I think.
  5. What playground rhymes do you remember? Like, none. Unless Red Rover counts.

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