I was foraging in my mom's garage the other day when I spied a rusty red can. It was an old, slightly dented Folgers Coffee can, sitting on a shelf. I peeked inside; it held a variety of nuts, bolts and screws. I smiled because I knew in its younger days, that particular container had seen a lot more action as the central element in our neighborhood games of Kick the Can.
Hot summer evenings in the late 1960s and early 1970s were the perfect time to gather the brood of neighbor kids for a rowdy game of Kick the Can in our backyard. The red can was placed upside down in the middle of the grass and whoever was "it" began counting to 100 by 5's while the rest of us scrambled to hide in trees, behind fences, over the hill and under the boxes by the garage. We could play the game for hours, fighting off the mosquitoes while we made mad dashes to the can to triumphantly punt it sky-high and release any captives that had been discovered and detained.
According to Wikipedia, the game of Kick the Can, along with other "old-fashioned" outdoor games is becoming less and less known to each generation. Past generations remember this game fondly, says the report, and it was enough of a cultural phenomenon at one time that it was a theme in a 1962 episode of The Twilight Zone and was incorporated later in the 1983 film of the same name.
I doubt many kids today would understand the concept of an unstructured, unsupervised game like Kick the Can. But just in case, I decided to do my part. I grabbed the old red can from the shelf, emptied its contents into another container, and then tossed it in my car. Next week, my young nephews and nieces will get a lesson from their aunt on good, old-fashioned summer fun.
'Til next time,
Mary Beth Weisenburger,
Good Old Days® magazine
What was your favorite summertime game? Send a brief response to me at Editor@GoodOldDaysMagazine.com and it could appear in a future newsletter or in Good Old Days magazine! Keep your replies coming!