Date: Fri, 27 May 1994 10:59:24 -0500


Subject: Re: Red Rover

In my experience as a sideline observer of children's games--oh and even an

occasional participant though I have blocked out the worst memories, having

been not only short like Wayne but fat and wearing eyeglasses and not

well-washed either--anyway, my experience is that there are two types of

games going on here, ones where teachers actually taught us rules

(volleyball, baseball, basketball) and ones the kids play during free play,

which is what we called it, and these are the culturally transmitted games

I'm talking about. King of the hill is not a rule book game. I don't know

about the official history of Red Rover, or if it is what we in Queens in

the early 1950s called Ring O Leevie O (any other NYers out there know this

game? anybody know what the words might mean?22)--but it doesn't seem like

an instructor-taught game to me. Of course the after-school games that we

played we did in the alleys back of our houses, or in the street, because

the big kids would chase us out of the schoolyard. We naively imagined

that one day we would become the big kids and get to chase little kids, but

somehow that never happened.

Dennis B (who is sorry to have imputed All American-ness to Dennis P.

Betcha can't guess where my father was from.)


Dennis Baron debaron[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]

Department of English 217-333-2392

University of Illinois fax: 217-333-4321

608 South Wright Street

Urbana, Illinois 61801