Saturday, February 26, 2005

The Whirled

When my family first moved to Arizona in the early 70s, my father put his green thumb to work, and magically created an oasis in the middle of the desert. The house had just been built, and the backyard was nothing but dirt; he built a patio complete with a small fountain, and a small lawn that was perfect for running around on. There were blue and green floodlights which gave the backyard a cool, hyperreal-moonglow look at night.

On summer nights, my brother and sister and I would play with our father out in the yard. I was probably 8, so my sister and brother would have been 6 and 4. Our favorite games were Blindman's Bluff, and Spinning Statues.

What I remember about Blindman's Bluff was the handkerchief we used for a blindfold; my father had some large (silk?) handkerchiefs, with printed patterns of black and gold. I remember the feel of the silk tied over my eyes, stumbling around with the grass under my bare feet. There were patches where the grass was scratchy (it was the desert after all) but it was still cool and soft. It was a little green island in the midst of dusty brown.

As for Spinning Statues, I'm not sure what the point of the game was, except to be silly. Whoever's turn it was gripped my father's hands, and then got whirled in a circle, faster and faster, until they lost their balance. Then, you had to freeze as soon as you could, holding whatever odd position you ended up in. I don't know if there was anything beyond that - deciding what the statue was? I'm not sure.

There were two speeds for spinning: "salt" (fast), and "pepper" (even faster.) It was always fun to take a chance on pepper, getting whirled around and around, losing control, spinning away and landing on the soft lawn, laughing all the way through a warm late summer night.

3 Comments:

Blogger David said...

That was so lovely that I will attempt to forgive your punning.

10:23 AM  
Anonymous barb said...

Hey LOTC ... Oh yeah, the masks - a set of should-have-been-discarded logo ascots from the Air Force flight suit uniforms of the different squadrons your "spinner" had served with during pilot training in Alabama, active duty in Florida, in Turkey, in Vietnam and in Arizona. All three about to be spun sported his nordic skin too easily rubbed red and then raw. Even your Pin-the-Tail-on-the-Donkey masks had to be silk!

Now about that towel wrap to keep light out...

1:31 PM  
Blogger Zenchick said...

hey...where's the rest of the post?? ;-)

10:01 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home