Date: Fri, 6 Oct 1995 09:29:29 PDT

From: tom creswell creswell[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]CROWN.NET

Subject: Re: Another Lexical Item

Apparently none of the subscribers to ADS-L had the

advantages I did--being raised in neighborhoods of

two- and three-story apartment buildings on the south side

of Chicago, which in the Twenties were most commonly

referred to, except by realtors, as _flat buildings_..

I must have been in my thirties before

hearing anyone refer to the concrete walking

place between buildings as anything other than a


As a very young child, on the _sidewalk_ running parallel

to the street, I played hopscotch and a game called Sky Blue,

involving patterns drawn with chalk.These games were not

sexually discriminatory and were jointly played by boys

and girls., In later childhood, sexual discrimination having

raised its ugly head, boys only rolled marbles called "

commies" (obivously for "common") at other, more highly

valued marbles, known generically as "canicks," such as

"aggies" (made of agate) and "moonies" (pearly white, resem-

bling opals), which had differing values stated

in terms of the number of squares from which a player had

to roll at them. If your commie hit the canick, it was yours;

if not, the owner of the canick, who sat on the sidewalk

beyond his prize with his legs spread aside to catch them,

kept your commies. The most valuable canick I remember was

one owned by my brother Sam--a 25 square, very small aggie.

As a squarewas about four feet long, you had to roll your

commie about 100 feet to hit the tiny aggie. No one ever hit

it; My brother Sam had ten or twelve cigar boxes full of

commies--more than any other boy in the neighborhood..

If I seem to have wandered far from the subject of sidewalks,

please excuse the garrulity that unfortunately accompanies

advancing years.

Tom Creswell