This is my eleventh post, for age 11, of the October Memoir and Backstory Challenge hosted by Jane Anne McLachlan. My previous posts: Baby Speed Eater, Two Tales, Curls, Most Magical Christmas, Kindergarten, Places, Mental Health in 1969, The Boxcar Children, The Little House Books and Too Thin.
My ability to stay slender in my youth was a result of several blessings: a healthy metabolism, the kid-friendly neighborhood of Ordonia, and neighborhood friends who made being active as much fun as reading (and that’s saying a lot, since I loved to read).
One of my favorite games was Four Square, but our version had only a little bit in common with the what we played in school. We played by Ordonia Rules. It started with the court which was the driveway that our house, 6 Ordonia, shared with the next door neighbor. Our driveway had three advantages, a central location in the neighborhood, a willingness of the residents to park on the street leaving the driveway open for play, and two large cracks at right angles to create the inner bounds. The outer bounds? Well, that’s what made Ordonia Rules Four Square so vigorous and fun. The outer bounds were the edges of the driveway — effectively no outer bounds because even the fastest players couldn’t defend a whole square.
As I recall, we played with a basketball rather than the kickball we used at school. The game was very fast-paced with a constant feed of players going into the game as other players were thrown out and went to the back of the line. No one cared that much about being thrown out because you would quickly be back in the game and it was almost as much fun to be cheering and jeering on the sidelines.
I most remember playing this late in the fall, after football season. Our participants were both genders and a wide age range, maybe six years from the youngest to the oldest. The football players would make a little bit of accommodation to the younger players and that just added to the fun — they would confuse themselves and accidentally send a soft play to the wrong square only to have a strong player slam it back.
Was Four Square this fun where you lived? What neighborhood games did you play?