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CNB Archives Oct. 2011: Growing up GLOUCESTER-Circa 1920-30


published October 2011  |  by John Carrigan Taylor

Remembering when Gloucester City streets and sidewalks were children’s 6a00d8341bf7d953ef01b7c78436c8970b-320wiplaygrounds. Circa: 1920-1930...

  The sidewalk games, ring around the Rosie, hopscotch, jumping rope, double dutch with two or three girls jumping in and out of the double whirling ropes and London Bridges falling down. There was a boys’ game, Peggy, played on a wooden bench with pocket knives, with two blades open forming a tee, the knife was flipped trying to make it land on either blade. Large blade one point, small blade two points. 

  The street games we played were “Mother, Mother May I Come Over,” hide and seek, red rover, kick the ricket, dodge ball, ½ ball.  Marbles played on unpaved sidewalks, roller skating, the skates attached to shoes by a toe clamp and ankle strap. The skates could be adjusted to shoe length, using nut and bolt in the center of the skate.  

  Gloucester City aided also by sponsoring street dancing. Friday evenings 7-9 Johnson Boulevard, by blocking off Morris and Middlesex streets. Also Cumberland Street in front of the High School, blocking Broadway, also Joy Street and Atlantic Street.

  When playing football on the lot at Filmore and Warren streets on Saturday mornings, when the noon whistle blew at the New York Ship Yard the game ended no matter who was winning.

  The warning our parents gave us in the bitterly cold weather when leaving our homes with sleds in hand, do not go sledding on Newton Creek, a boy, and his sled went through the ice and drowned. He was one of us, his father owned Massimo Saloon at Salem and Burlington. 

John Carrigan Taylor

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