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At church this week (I visited Samaria Baptist Church which is where my dad was baptized as a young man around 1912 and my daughter and her family now attend) an old acquaintance, Julian Bryant, stopped by to let me know that my age is beginning to show in this column and if I keep it up, everyone will know that I’m growing old.
Then he proceeded to remind me of how a poor boy played baseball back in the day. Remember finding a very smooth rock and then winding tobacco twine around the rock and shaping it as best you could into a round baseball? Once that was completed, the perfect bat had to be found, because Lord knows there was no money for a storebought bat. Sometimes a sturdy tobacco stick would work and if not that, then find a really strong limb and whittle it down to size and shape for the perfect bat.
If you had a ball glove, you were one of the lucky ones. You normally caught the ball barehanded and then did the blowing-in-the-hand deal for a few minutes after you had held it long enough for it to count in throwing someone out or catching a fly ball.
Another fine art that’s gone by the wayside is the ability to balance an old tire while rolling it using a stick and running as fast as you can. Doesn’t that sound so much more fun than video games?
I remember marbles championship rounds being played to determine the best marble shooter at Stanhope and jack rock tournaments and rollerskate races through the halls and around the walkway in front of the school.
When I was a Cub Scout leader, we held a day camp each year for one day and some of the highlights of that camp were marbles, fishing in a real country pond and the BB gun safety course.
I told my husband the other day as we rode to Wilson and passed a true fishing hole that I want to go fishing again with a cane pole and an old bucket to sit on. Doesn’t that sound like a fun day? I’ll dig the fishing worms.
Jan Mills is The Enterprise’s customer service representative. Reach her at 252-478-3651 and email@example.com.