Games We Played: Memories by Robert Shackles

One of the most popular games we all played as kids was Cowboy & Indians
or Cops & Robbers. These were the days of the Cowboys---Tom Mix---Ken Manenard
and Tim McCoy. It was also the time when J.Edger Hoover and the FBI was
glamorized by the ever-famous G Men. On the robbers side there was Pretty Boy
Floyd---Dillenger---Machine gun Kelly ---and the most famous of all Bonnie &
Clyde. We would choose up sides and draw straws to see whose team was going to
be the good guys & who were the bad guys. Our weapons were stick guns with
inner tube bullets. We made our guns ourselves, and they were made of a carved
piece of wood for the barrel & our pistol grip was a vertical piece of wood
attached to the barrel & fastened with innertube. The trigger was a snap
Clothespin anchored to the grip. We would cut the innertube leaving a circle
like a rubber band but of course much thicker than a rubber band. To load our
weapon we would stretch the innertube from the end of the barrel to the
clothes pin where we would snap it on. to shoot the gun we would simply
squeeze the bottom part of the clothespin and it would release the stretched
innertube. At close range these things would sting and we always tried to
shoot close range. It's surprising how far they would shoot if made right.
When we started playing, if you got shot you were out of the game. The younger
guys were always at a disadvantage and didn't last long. also once they shot
they had trouble reloading their gun. We had a lot of places to hide and ambush
our enemy. Some that come to mind were two out houses---two sheds --a few
trees--- two houses and some grader ditches. One day after we had chosen up
sides Freddy & Percy went in the house and came out with a secret gun they
had bragged about. It was the darndest contraption you ever saw. They had put
together a double barrel gun that they held like a machine gun. It had a wide
barrel that had two triggers and would handle two stretched innertubes. It had
two pieces of broom handles anchored to the base and they could hold it just
like a machine gun. It gave them the advantage of having an extra shot left
after shooting at each other. Usually Freddy and I were teamed up against Bill
& Kenneth and after we won a few games in a row they would quit. Later on we
had a plum tree that had little old plums you couldn't eat, and we started
shooting these at each other with our sling shots. That didn't last long
because Aunt Cora put a stop to this. he-he-he One day they brought the car
Bonny & Clyde was ambushed in by the G men, to Sedalia on a trailer and we went
to town to see it. It was full of bullet holes and after seeing it we played
this game in earnest. This was one of the few times Aunt Cora let Freddy &
Percy go to town with us that I can remember.