Playing the Game

…ooh Mar-r-y Mack, Mack, Mack…all dressed in black, black, black…with sil~ ver buttons, buttons, buttons…

If you can finish that rhyme, you grew up in Brooklyn, probably not Green Meadows. If you’re now starting to sing the rhyme, then, oh yeah… you’re definitely from Brooklyn, or at least in the age category of a Brooklynite.

Those were the days. When we had so much fun. There were no Nintendo’s, X-boxes, or John Madden EA Sports. The old games were all in your head, in your spirit, and they could get as competitive as a hockey match.

Remember “Hopscotch”? Mostly a girl’s game. Little boys could play, but by the time they reached puberty, boys wouldn’t dare let the “Homies” catch them playing hopscotch. They might play, just wouldn’t let their “boyz” catch’em doing it.

Marbles? All you needed was a handful of those little, magic colored glass balls and a good dirt yard. It’s said that most of today’s heavy gamblers from the old school are guys who were the best marble shooters. The winner-take-allcompetitiveness won’t let go just because people started growing grass in their yards.

My favorite game was Hide~and~Go~Seek. Find me, and I’d run over you getting back to “the base”. It was like my very life was at stake. Dodge ball? Never play it in the cold weather and a good reason why. It’s called a concussion.

Besides, cold weather was card game time. Pitty~pat or tunk. Add a few more players and the real games start. Bid WhissSpades, and the big daddy of the all, DIRTY HEARTS… for water! Where you would “gang up”. After a while the victim spent as much time going to the bathroom as they did at the card table. All these were great games and without the cost. All you needed were a few friends, a deck of cards or a dirt yard. Today, once in a blue moon a card game might still break out.

…too bad you just can’t find a good ol’ dirt yard anymore!!!

From Harambee 2007, an album created for the Brooklyn/Green Meadows Reunion