Today, the Chicks reminisce about games we used to love playing as children…
Because I grew up as an only child (sort of–my sister is 16 years older), I was always looking for someone to play games with me. It’s hard to play board games by yourself, which is why I was a big fan of Candy Land and Chutes and Ladders. All you had to do was spin for each person, so I lined up my dolls and stuffed animals and even my turtle (he rarely moved far) as playmates. My dad used to play the card game Authors with me, though (Okay, Daddy, I have 3 Edgar Allan Poes and 3 James Fenimore Coopers but I am NOT letting you have any Samuel Clemens!). Mostly old-white-guy authors, but I think Louisa May Alcott may have been in there somewhere. Anyway, that’s probably how I ended up an English major. After that we moved on to chess, which I basically learned not via math and probability, but Alice Through the Looking Glass. (Well, let’s see, the Red Queen is really mean, so I need to watch out for her. The knights are useless and whiny and I sort of feel sorry for the pawns, so maybe I won’t sacrifice them…). Surprisingly, my Alice strategy worked rather well, enough to make me Fourth Grade Chess Champion.
I’ve never been much of a board game or cards player. Neither was anyone in my family. We had a lakeside cottage in Connecticut for years. A friend from New York who loves games came to visit and complained to us, “All you people do is read.”
That being said, I have a vivid memory of one game I played in my childhood. Until I was ten, we lived in Little Neck, Queens, at the bottom of the largest hill in the borough. On a summer night, all of us kids would congregate on top of the hill to play Red Rover. As dusk fell, the sky would turn pink and an island in the distance lit up with what seemed like thousands of white lights. I fell in love with that magical island and dreamed of living there someday. And eventually I did.
The island was Manhattan, and I still miss it.
As a kid, I loved playing cards. My grandma and Aunt Della Mae taught me how to play gin rummy when I was five or six. I liked playing it. I liked that they let me win. My parents would have their friends over to play cards, and Rook was their game of choice. I also learned to play that pretty young, although we we weren’t allowed to play with the grown-ups. Later, Sorry was a board game that my siblings and I could all agree to playing. (Consensus was rare). In high school, and into college, my brother and sister and I got into Trivial Pursuit and would have friends over to play, sometimes late into the night. As a side note, never play Monopoly with my husband or his friend JJ. They would make side deals to drive out other players. When I called him out for cheating, hubs said, “The name of the game is ‘monopoly.'”
Indoors: card and board games galore! Outdoors: existing games like Hopscotch, Jump Rope, Tag, Red Rover, Statues, and Capture the Flag. Also many invented games, like Here We Are Sitting On This Boulder, Using Branches as Fishing Poles to Catch Leaves -or- Let’s Write Down All The License Plates Of Everyone Who Drives By for no apparent reason. And there was my all-time favorite, Supercapes, which led to many exciting adventures like jumping off of the porch and letting your cape fly out behind you. And by cape, I mean beach towel.
Readers, drop us a note in the comments below! What were some of your favorite games?