Games We Played : Memories by Robert Shackles

   We were always on the lookout for cardboard boxes, & there were 3
neighbor hood grocery stores within a 7 block area that we would go to
to scrounge for boxes.   Freddy & Percy were not allowed very  for from
home so Red, Bill & I were always the scroungers.  Some of the grocer's
would put their trash out in the morning & others would put theirs out
in the afternoon & we soon  learned their schedules.   We would have to
be there before the grocers burned their trash &  sometimes our timing
wasn't  so  good.   Whenever we got boxes we would lug them home,and
store them in our seller.  Uncle Fred had a  tool shed out back by the
alley where Freddy & Percy would keep their boxes.   There was only two
things we needed boxes for,& the first was the slides we made at the
school on the corner up the street from us.   As I have said before the
school playground was dirt, and it was  built up high enough that it had
a fairly steep bank on the lower end that was really great for sliding
down.   We would use the boxes for our slide & when the box tore up we
would just use the cardboard.    This game would keep us busy for hours,
& since cardboard would wear out we always needed  a reserve supply.   I
visited the school sometime in the 1950s and much to my surprise the
banks were not as steep as I remembered them to be.    Also later they
constructed a concrete wall around the school play ground and that
eliminated the bank.    There is nothing like a cardboard box to put
over your head when it's  raining & this  was our  2nd need for
boxes.      We would cut a flap in the box that  we would fold to the
inside of the box and this we could use to see out of.   If it started
to rain really hard we could close the hole by closing the flap.   We
also cut another flap we could use when we wanted to talk to the other
guys.   The rain beating down on the box was really a fun thing to
listen to and besides you didn't get wet.  We compared it to having our
own automobile.      There were times when it was raining fairly hard
that two or more of us would squat down completely under the box & we
would open our flaps & talk to each other.    Cardboard boxes were much
heaver in the 30s than they are today so they  would hold up well in a
vairly heavy rain.    It is my observation today that we had more fun
with these old cardboard boxes than most kids have today with their
expensive toys.   I remember that Herman was usually playing with
Charles & the younger kids,  however when it rained he really did like
to get under a box  and listen to it rain.