Favorite neighborhood games and guns

What were your favorite outdoor games as a kid? Oh, I don’t mean sports like baseball, football, basketball, etc. You know, neighborhood games. I grew up at 2133 N. Hamilton right here in Pampa and we had a ton of neighborhood games. 

Game No. 1- When the summer weather was really hot we would play chicken on our bare feet on the asphalt street; boys and girls. Everyone would stand at the curb and then we would all jump on to the asphalt at the same time and start running around. Our feet got so hot that eventually we couldn’t stand it anymore and the last one to jump on to the grass was the winner. We played that a lot.

Game No. 2- We always had yellow-jacket nests in the neighborhood and in my front yard we always had a huge hornet’s nest in one of our elm trees. We would draw straws to see who lost and had to climb the tree with the hornet’s nest. That boy (girls didn’t play this game with us) would take a fly swatter with him and get just close enough to the nest to swat 2-3 hornets and the rest of us would be under the tree with Mason jars and lids. When the hornets got hit with the fly swatter they were stunned just long enough to put them in the jars; just put the jar over them, then they would wake up and fly to the top of the jar and then you just slid the lid under the jar. We would then run through the same routine with yellow-jacket nests and catch each one in a separate jar. Then we would have fights to the death. Of course, the hornets always won. Their reward for conquering the wasp was death by magnifying glass. And no we weren’t some kind of weirdoes, we were just normal boys.

Game No. 3- Hide & seek was a real highlight. We had to wait til dark, but what a blast it was to stumble through the dark, trying to get to the base before you got caught. We all spent a lot of hours on Hamilton having fun with this game.

Game No. 4- We also had a lot of fun “playing dead”. We would all get at one end of somebody’s yard and then one at a time we go to the other end of the yard and on queue run at the other boys. (girls didn’t much like this game either) As we neared the other boys one of them would shoot us with one our multitude of play pistols and rifles that we all had. Once shot, it was our job to die the best we could. We would jump, moan, stumble around, cry out and then eventually fall dramatically to the ground. We would all vote on who died the best and that boy was the winner. And YES, we played this game a lot. I’ve spent many, many hours playing dead.

Game No. 5- We often played cowboys & Indians or just cowboys & outlaws. Every boy in the neighborhood had an array of toy weapons for these games. My arsenal consisted of: 1 pop rifle that had to be cocked; 1 Mattel greenie stick em cap rifle; 2 Colt .45 fanning revolvers with holster; and my prize weaponry were 2 Hubley Colt .45 revolvers with holster from Christmas in 1958. We then divided into sides (cowboys & Indians/outlaws) and spent the day shooting each other and dying in spectacular, melodramatic ways.

And note: NOT A SINGLE ONE OF US EVER GREW UP TO BE A MASS KILLER. My very first actual memory is of getting in trouble at Sam Houston Elementary for shooting my pop rifle and making too much noise in Mrs. Gibson’s first grade class. I can’t remember when I didn’t have toy guns and play with them constantly; got my first Daisy BB rifle when I was 7 or 8 and my first .410 shotgun when I was 10. And yet I’ve never shot anyone. If you aren’t getting my drift, GUNS AREN’T THE STINKING PROBLEM! The problem is the ANTI-GOD culture that we have either helped create by our own ungodliness or have allowed to evolve without a fight. So what is it time to do? FIGHT! FIGHT! FIGHT! God needs warriors. God bless. Mike

Mike Sublett is a pastor at Hi-Land Christian Church, 1615 N. Banks St., Pampa, Texas 79065. Email him at pawdad@nts-online.net.

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