Get Outside and Play!

 

baby gwin and mama
Me and Mama

 

“Take your a$$ somewhere and sit down!”

“Don’t you see grown folks talkin’?  Go on outside and play!”

These were a few of mama’s favorite commands especially after me or my brother had asked one too many questions.  To be fair, mama wasn’t the only one to say that to me… and damn near every other kid in the general vicinity.  In fact, we were just as likely to hear those declarations from aunts, uncles, family friends, neighbors and so on.

You see, in those days, every responsible adult kept watch over all of the children in his or her presence.  That said, there was an unspoken agreement that if a child misbehaved, he or she should and could be disciplined by just about any sensible grownup.

Talk about neighborhood watch!

Anyway, whenever  we took our a$$es outside, we played all sorts of games.  Some of my favorites were:

Mother May I?

Blind Man’s Bluff

Dodgeball

Kickball

Hide and Seek (When I got older the boys wanted to play something called ‘Hide and Go Get It!’)  But intuitively I knew better than to play that game.

Moving on…

Needless to say, my cohorts and I played all of these games at school as well.  But, at school, we also engaged in something I like to call ‘hood cheerleading.’

Confused?  Ok, let me explain.  Basically, a ‘hood cheer’ is a chant that sounds similar to the formal chants that you might hear from a ‘real cheerleader.’  However, ‘hood cheers’  had a tendency to lean more toward the omlish side.

By the way, ‘omlish’ is a Southern term for a little girl who acts like a grown woman, probably a corruption of ‘womanish.’

Either way, I loved ‘hood cheers.’  Believe it or not, I can still vividly remember the excitement of engaging in these little ‘call and response’ masterpieces!

Now, if you will, please check out 9 year old ‘me’ as I say my rhyme in one of my favorite ‘hood cheers:’

 

ALL:  Hooley, Hooley! Who think they bad?  

Me:   I do!

ALL:  Hooley, Hooley! Who think they bad?

Me:   Well I think I’m bad and Gwin is my name.  Boys follow me ’cause they like what they see.  I got this dude on my mind, don’t you worry ’bout his sign!  I got his picture in a frame, don’t you worry ’bout his name!  

ALL:  Um! She think she bad!

Me:  BayBEE… I know I’m bad!

ALL: Um! She think she fine!

Me:  Finer than the best red wine!  

ALL:  Hooley, hooley!  Who think they bad?

And on it went until each girl had her chance to tell us why she thought she was bad—in rhyme form!  It should be noted that my rhyme was pretty standard; most of the girls said something very similar.

That sh!t makes me die laughing as I think about it today!

Side note:  I went on to become a well respected high school varsity cheerleader for 3 years.  I was also Co-captain my senior year.  Suffice it to say, by that time, my cheerleading style was much more refined, precise and sportsmanlike!  LOL!!

At any rate, I hate to be the old fogey lamenting over “the kids today…”  But I do have to say that children’s games these days lack the creativity and imagination that accompanied the games that we played; not to mention the exercise 😦  Frankly, schools are partially to blame because they opted to remove recess and physical education from the curriculum. Honestly, I think we need to rethink that move.

So now that you’ve  heard my take, what games did you play?

As for me, I’m glad mama’nem made us take our a$$es outside!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

19 thoughts on “Get Outside and Play!

  1. Sandco3

    I love it!
    The hood cheer was also one of my favorites. I was also somewhat of a tomboy and play flag football with the boys. This was until I got a little older and the boys turn it into touch football.

    Here are few of my other favorites:
    Jacks
    hopscotch
    Double Dutch jump rope
    Softball
    Skateboarding
    Street skating
    Bike riding ( sometimes I got a little adventurous and rode my bike on rough terrain like red hill )
    Hiking – Park trails

    I have to agree. Those were the good old days when kids could safely go outside and play.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I didn’t grow up in the South, I’m from PA, but we played kickball every day in summer, and played in the “woods” by my parents house, catching crayfish in the creek and climbing trees. I had a serious case of poison ivy every summer from those damn woods! Thanks for the cool blog post, it’s fun to reminisce about those times!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Not the Tom Thumb Wedding! The church I went to when I was younger had a Tom Thumb wedding and I was in it. I was the pastor. I never got any closer to the pulpit than that though…

    Liked by 3 people

  4. You took me back to the good old days again and in the process nailed what’s missing from today’s neighborhoods – folks that gave a damn about the children.

    You’re re-visting the things “old folk” used to say reminded me of the times I almost became a white boy. “I’ma slap the black off you” was hurled at me more times than I can remember. “I’ma beat you from Genesis to Revelations if you do that again”.

    And this “go get me a switch so I can beat your ass” was one of the all time pieces of brute force psychology that worked because you knew if they had to go get the switch they were going to come back with the damn tree.

    We also played some of the same games you wrote about – kickball and dodge ball was everyday during summer months. I also remember Hide and Go Get it – I won’t elaborate on that one but it was fun as all get out.

    Let me ask you – Did you all have Tom Thumb weddings?. We did and a few of those kids participating in Tom Thumb weddings actually grew up and got married for real.Tom Thumb weddings messed with my head though as I was suspect they might be a trap. As a boy, my parents swore they’d kill me if I so much as held a girl’s hand but were the first to toss me in a Tom Thumb wedding as a groom. “Since I’m married I can get some nookie now?” I woke up on the floor with a concussion – the little girl got married to my cousin because my mother said “I was smelling my piss”.

    Sounds like you engaging in hood cheers paid off handsomely for you. Not many folks can claim 3 years as a Varsity cheerleader – making the squad back then was no joke. Congrats.

    Thanks for another jewel of a post. Your posts are just begging for a collective assembly in book form one day. Keep ’em coming.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Lawd have mercy! You are killing me! You got me rolling with the “beat your ass from Genesis to Revelations!” That’s a new one on me!

      As for getting the switch, my mama used to make US get the damn switch; talk about reverse psychology! If you brought a little one back she was REALLY gonna kill you!

      We didn’t do Tom Thumb weddings but ironically my daughter was telling me that they do that at her school just the other day. I told her “I bet I’ll wed your ass if I hear you did that!”

      Still trying to recover from the belly ache that I got from laughing at your wedding attempt. Your mama is the TRUTH! Only a true mama can tell you when you’re ‘smelling your piss!’ LOL!

      Thank you so much for this gem of a comment. Please keep coming back 🙂

      Liked by 3 people

  5. We played most of those games growing up; also Red Light Green Light. And the part about being disciplined by any respectable adult held sway here too in those days. I knew better than to think I was going to get away with anything, even if I wasn’t anywhere near my house!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. T. Wayne you are right about not getting away with anything. And in my neighborhood, all the adults had free rein to whip that “azz” if they saw you do something wrong. One could mess up at one end of the street and wind up getting 2 or 3 whippings before they got home where the granddaddy of them all would be waiting on you depending upon the level of your disobedience.

      Liked by 3 people

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