Games we played back then

Published 5:33 pm Thursday, August 9, 2012

Back in the pre-World War II era this was the time of the year when kids found new games to play. Yo-yos were real popular and years later we found some adults who still had their yo-yos and were pretty good at making them do all sorts of things. Some of us were never very good at that sort of thing and looked for something else to occupy our time. Boys played mumble-peg with their knives and it was a hard thing to do, but some were champs and won most every game. Girls played hopscotch, and some kids nowadays have started that activity again. March was always kite flying time and a big contest was held every year at the old airport where the radio station is located with the furniture store for a neighbor. Several young men from Bogalusa won trophies and prizes that became keepsakes. One came out with a box kite that he had personally made and it won first prize that year. His kite was entered in a national contest and he was awarded a store bought box kite from Japan.

Baseball was popular and in a sandy area out between what is now Camellia Drive and the swimming pool in Cassidy Park many ball games were played in the sand there. Right in the same area was a site for boxing matches and a lot of young men fought as semi-pros. After the war, this area became a site for the subdivision there now, and eliminated the rabbit hunting with a headlight at night.

Cassidy Park was also a favorite spot for many young people. We learned to swim and used the pool for a lot of years and we also liked to go at night to watch the dancing up in the pavilion and listen to some good music. The Park has changed over the years and swimming no longer goes on there or anywhere nearby, up or down Bogue Lusa Creek. The city had lifeguards who kept it safe for the many kids who used the pool, and we really enjoyed that part of the park.

There were a lot of other games we learned to play and bicycle riding was a challenge. We learned to ride if there was a bike available. In our early school days only one member of Superior Avenue School had a bike and he let some try to ride and a few learned how. As we got older, several boys went to work delivering papers with their bikes and made a few dollars a week. A service station on Louisiana Avenue had a sideline of bicycle sales and a lot of bikes came from there. One paper route had over 100 papers a day to be delivered and if you collected from most of the patrons on Saturday you would receive about $4.50. Then you would go by the station and pay for the bike, usually $3 or $3.50.

The only way you made any money was each paperboy was given four or five extra papers and these were sold for some ready cash, 10 to 25 cents per paper. This was not much compared to now but it was a time when a Butterfinger candy bar was a nickel and the bar was much larger than it is now. Anyway it was a part of growing up back in those days when some people worked all day for a dollar or less, (and we called them the ‘Good Old Days’).

That was during a time most young men were interested in getting some sort of job and very few even thought of going on to college. Most young girls were learning to cook, how to keep house, and maybe going to school to become teachers, which was considered an honorable profession, and still is.

Times are much different now and very few kids would think of riding a bike at 4:30 every morning to make $5 a week. We were not as smart as kids are nowadays but it was part of our education of growing up. It all amounts to what you are satisfied with and happy doing.

We can all be thankful for the opportunities we have had to make our young years enjoyable. God was leading our country back then and He will do the same thing now. May He bless you all.