I’ve been reminded that my note on games was a short list.
For instance Judi sent a text that I left out games that were singular to girls, such as playing with paper dolls.
Having not been a paper doll type of guy, I didn’t know there was a competitive aspect there.
Playing “jacks” was nearly an all-girl sport but at times boys participated at the risk of being shown up by a gal.
She added that her granddaughters play a mean game of jacks and that her husband was the yo-yo champion of Whitfield County back in the 1950s.
Her husband is no longer competitive at anything requiring him to leave his recliner but he lost to a Tennessee boy who could fling two yo-yos while telling jokes.
Possibly her husband maintains some resentment that should have burned out decades ago.
He might have been the smoothest spinning wonder in Rocky Face, but when he traveled a few miles north and met that guy in the school auditorium in Red Bank, Tennessee, the judges were not exactly slain by his tricks of “walk the dog,” “rock the baby,” and “’round the world.”
“He was murdered!” Judi claimed. “Those Tennessee boys must not have had anything else to do but play with those yo-yos.”
The guy who eliminated him, and eventually won the tournament, was several years older and her husband hasn’t touch a yo-yo since then.
In the same decade kids began throwing boomerangs.
Gib Richardson, who lived across the street, and the guys his age had returning boomerangs so that, if properly thrown, returned to the point of launch.
I was too young to participate but it was desirable for the boomerang to be caught or land near the thrower’s feet so he didn’t have to go chase it.
More than once a boomerang flew out, turned around still flying fast and level. Boys scattered not knowing where the thing was headed.
My parents didn’t allow me to play with one and now I understand how the idea of an out-of-control returning boomerang could be disquieting to a parent.
Boomerangs were for hunting and have been in use for thousands of years. Yo-yos are surely one of the oldest toys, several thousand years old
There are competitive organizations for those proficient with yo-yos and boomerangs but as a cultural phenomenon I don’t think they’re coming back.