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
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.
USA predominantly city