Crazes: Times Past

1964.16C,I,Neil hopscotch

Sand in the costume, ice creams, crabbing, floaty horses all rated a mention in our last prompt  Grainy Memories. For this prompt we had no Silent Generation but 7 baby boomers (2 x USA, 2 x Australian and  3 UK) and 2 baby buster Gen X gals – one from the US, the other from the UK joined in.

This prompt showed some definite geographical differences. In the Baby Boomers those from the UK went to the beach for activities other than swimming, the Aussies went for the swimming whilst the US was a little of both depending on geographical location. Those in the UK either couldn’t swim or not well. 2 boomers didn’t bake but went to the beach purely to swim. Ironically one of these became lobster red whilst playing a game of shuffle board in the hotel lobby. In the U.K. the sand was different, the sea came in from the North Pole, there is no mention of swimming but rather other beach activities such as mussell  and fossil collecting, walking the long pier, the library, Punch and Judy shows, carousels (merry-go-rounds), donkey rides, helter skelter, sea water swimming pools covered in slime, sunburn, cricket matches, ice cream and television. Geographically similar – ice cream.

Difference in language: costume UK, bathing suit US

Baby Boomers seemed to have a bit more freedom than they have today as some were allowed to go to the beach alone without adult supervision as a youngster.

The two Gen X’s showed differences too and although the numbers of participants is few and therefore not statistically significant the English gen x’er finally enters the water and despite blue lips, her brother could not be drawn from the water. The geographical location came into play with our US counterpart who did not visit the seaside as a child but rather saw her grains of sand as the grime that settled in the dryness of the country area she lived.

This was  a reminder to me that beaches are not only at the seaside but anywhere (river banks, lakesides) where sand (pebbles) are to be found and people swim or do the other pursuits associated with sand.

Thanks everyone for those memories. If you haven’t read the entries please do – they’ll bring a smile, an occasional ouch and many memories of your own will flood back.

If you are new to Times Past visit the Times Past Page to see the conditions and the purpose of the challenge. It will also let you know which generation you belong to if you aren’t sure.

Now for this week’s prompt: Crazes


Australia  Rural

My husband played Conkers a game I’d never heard of but, from the sound of it, conkers would be swapped and won in a similar fashion to marbles. In my school, games would come and go and come back again. We were told (by who I’m not sure) that we were always a bit behind the rest of the world in our crazes. Hoola hoops had been and gone elsewhere before they hit Australian shores. Why or how these games came I don’t know. It may have been very clever marketing by Woolworths who sold most of the hoola hoops in our town. Perhaps the lag was on purpose – all the unused stock could be shipped downunder and used up here with the lag occurring because sea travel was not that quick. We believed the premise, though, that the rest of the world was also playing these games.

Ladyleemanila ,a baby boomer,growing up in the Philippines  played many of the games we played. Including hopscotch which they called pico. The hopscotch craze hit my primary school in 1964. We played two different types – the one pictured and one with a grid of 6 squares but apart from that I can’t remember how it was played. This was followed by elastics which needed three people to play it. The elastic was held by two people who progressively raised it from ankle height to waist height. I didn’t see anybody achieve higher than this but no doubt there were some that went to head height. The third person then had to perform certain manoeuvres. Failure to achieve these meant swapping around the holders and  a new person having a turn.

We had our craze of yoyos of which the only trick I could perform was walking the dog. I can’t remember any of the other tricks and requirements of good yoyoing. It was my least favourite of the crazes and one I wasn’t very good at. My favourite craze was one my grandmother introduced me to before it became a craze — knuckles. She used sheep knuckles which turned a beautiful golden yellow as they became older and the gristle finally wore off them. By the time they came to school as the next craze I was more than proficient at what was called jacks. Instead of the bone knuckles I was used to, 5 plastic knuckle shaped pieces, each a different colour were used, again bought from the Woolworths Variety Store. I excelled at this game particularly as the plastic version was slightly smaller than those I was used to.

Did you have the same crazes. Did you have others that may or may not have arrived at some stage in Australia. I forgot the French knitting – we did that for several months as well. I look forward to hearing what crazes you had at school or did crazes not enter your schoolyard?

Don’t forget to put where you grew up country and rural or city and what generation you belong to.

Philippines  Rural

USA predominantly city

England rural

Still Crazes After All These Years

England city



About Irene Waters 19 Writer Memoirist

I began my working career as a reluctant potato peeler whilst waiting to commence my training as a student nurse. On completion I worked mainly in intensive care/coronary care; finishing my hospital career as clinical nurse educator in intensive care. A life changing period as a resort owner/manager on the island of Tanna in Vanuatu was followed by recovery time as a farmer at Bucca Wauka. Having discovered I was no farmer and vowing never again to own an animal bigger than myself I took on the Barrington General Store. Here we also ran a five star restaurant. Working the shop of a day 7am - 6pm followed by the restaurant until late was surprisingly more stressful than Tanna. On the sale we decided to retire and renovate our house with the help of a builder friend. Now believing we knew everything about building we set to constructing our own house. Just finished a coal mine decided to set up in our backyard. Definitely time to retire we moved to Queensland. I had been writing a manuscript for some time. In the desire to complete this I enrolled in a post grad certificate in creative Industries which I completed 2013. I followed this by doing a Master of Arts by research graduating in 2017. Now I live to write and write to live.
This entry was posted in Historical Perspective, Memoir, Past Challenge, photography, Times Past and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

36 Responses to Crazes: Times Past

  1. So I think Ive not been doing this properly. I’m supposed to write a post in my own blog relating to your prompt, and then post a link here to your blog, right? More than I know how to do, being a digital techie moron. Let me fool around a bit and see what I can figure out.
    Your memories are charming, Irene. You were such a pretty child. We played hop scotch also, although I was never good at anything athletic. I could manage a few hops into the squares, but other games like jump rope found me nearly hanging myself, and tag found me lost way past the bell ringing. I was already a writer, musical, artistic, and a graceful dancer but games eluded me. The only phys ed class I ever did well in was archery, and I was the best in the class.
    Off topic here, but still going to see if I can respond to your prompt correctly.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You’ve got it now. It didn’t worry me as I didn’t know until recently that you had started posting again so I was just happy that you had joined in. Will be equally happy to have you post on your blog and link it. All you have to do is copy the url and paste it into the comments on my post.
      Who would want to partake of sheep like crazes when you were already a writer, musical, artistic and a graceful dancer. Give me those any day. I wasn’t sporty either but I wasn’t too accomplished in anything else either. Looking forward to what you come up with whether on or off topic.


  2. We played elastics too, jacks and yoyos……not so much hopscotch or hula hoops. Great read, thanks for the memories

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Lisa Reiter says:

    Oh this’ll be fun! Marbles, jacks, some strange way of crocheting a tube, The Bay City Rollers, Boys.. Do boys count?! I was crazy about some of those for a while!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Annecdotist says:

    I loved hopscotch and elastics that we called French skippy – I had a good photo of that one so you’ve got me wondering whether I’ve still got it.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. We had steel knuckle bones – ouch. Us girls played swaps – glitter ones were always the favourites

    Liked by 1 person

    • I don’t think I have ever seen steel knuckle bones. Were you in Austria or New Zealand when you played with these. You have bought back vague memories of glitter ones but again they were plastic and they were swapped. The girls didn’t play marbles but gamed away their jacks.


  6. I’m loving these. So…crazes. Like a fad? Is it games? Or anything goes? I’m sorry. I’m so tired. It’s probably obvious. O_o

    Liked by 1 person

    • A geographical difference already come to light. Yes probably like a fad. My definition of a craze is an activity which the majority of people (in a school type setting or social group etc) become hooked on for usually a short period of time, doing it constantly, until the next craze comes along. Anything goes if more than you were doing it. 🙂 I wouldn’t be surprised though if you were such an individual even then that you didn’t follow the crowd. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Whaaaat? Moi? Not following a… Oh forget it. You know me too well. I’ll go as far as to say that if something I liked became really popular I would shy away from it. 😜 Stubborn girl.
        Okay, so not clothing or music, really, but a game or activity. I can think of two or three off the top of my head for my kids but I have to think back for me.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Pingback: Weekend Coffee Share 2nd April 2016 | Reflections and Nightmares- Irene A Waters (writer and memoirist)

  8. julespaige says:

    Not much this time. I just wasn’t ‘with it’ for much when I was growing up. 😉
    Perhaps that was a good thing?
    Past Times: Craze or Crazy?

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Sherri says:

    Hi Irene, I’m so glad I found your latest Times Past prompt. I am so sorry I missed the previous one, I had a super photo of me as a child in a too-tight red, frilly swimming costume posing on a beach in Norfolk looking absolutely freezing (and it’s in black & white, so only I know the cossie’s red and my lips blue!). I did so enjoy reading the other’s memories though and I’m not surprised at the differences depending on the warmth of the sea, ha! Now for this prompt, you’ve reminded me of so many things I did as kid. And of course, I know all about conkers which you would expect 🙂 I am determined to take part in this…by the end of the month right? Great fun, thanks Irene!

    Liked by 1 person

    • The photo could be posted anyway. I would now know the cossie was red and your lips were blue. Perhaps you could put it as a craze that earnt the English the title of “only mad dogs and Englishman go out in the midday sun” and too the beach in Norfolk. Will love to have you take part if you have the time Sherri but if you don’t at least you can come back and be reminded at your leisure of all those crazes that we took part in. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Pingback: Still Crazes After All These Years | TanGental

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