Saturday, March 21, 2009

HAVE YOU EVER TRIED GEE-HAW WHAMMY DIDDLING?


The gee-haw-whammy-diddle is a rhythm toy which makes a characteristic sound when one stick is rubbed back and forth across deep notches in another stick. A spinner nailed to one end of the serrated stick will revolve in response to the vibrations.
By knowing the secret of the whammy-diddle you can make the spinner turn right or left at will, hence, the name "gee-haw."
I was thinking about all the games that we used to play as children and how much fun we had with our friends. We didn't have a lot of money to buy real games so we played games that did not cost anything and we were always outside!
So many children today stay inside on the computer or watching t.v. all the time. This does not encourage social and physical development like the games we used to play.
I remember playing "Simon Says" where you had to pay attention and do exactly what Simon said or you were eliminated.
We played "Red Light, Green Light" and "Red Rover". One game we called "Jump the Stick" consisted of just two sticks laid together on the ground. We all lined up and stepped over the two sticks, then they were moved wider apart. This was repeated until only one person remained and jumped farther than anyone else. If you did not make it over without stepping between the two sticks, you were eliminated.
Another game we played was called "Annie, Annie, Over". To play this game you had to throw a ball over the house or a building.
These games all improved agility.
We were all suntanned with no extra weight and spent our days running, camping out, swimming, skating, and could not wait to get outside in the mornings to meet up with our friends.
How did you spend your childhood days? Do you remember games you played as a child that we never hear of today?

26 comments:

WELCOME TO MY WORLD OF POETRY: said...

HiJudy, I can't say I have heard of that toy, but the games Iremember were hopscotch,skipping,and I used to spend much of my time reading or piano playing. It's Mothers Day here todaay (Sunday) I know you celebrate yours in May. have a good Sunday.

Yvonne

Grannyann said...

We rode our bikes, swam, roller skated on the sidewalks with real steel skates that fastened to your shoes. We climbed trees, played cowboys and indians, went to the Saturday morning movies, played with our dogs, had lots of slumber parties where we told ghost stories, played jacks. We were Brownies and Girl Scouts, some were 4H. One of my favorites was playing in my sand box with the roof over it.

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Oh Judy--I worry so much about kids today---on their cells, their computers, etc... Life is so different.

I had a wonderful childhood with tons of friends.. We could run around all over town--and it was always so safe. We played "Kick the Can" alot. I remember all of the games you mentioned. Oh--what wonderful times...

Hugs,
Betsy

Jeannie said...

Hi Judy! I wouldn't change my childhood play time for anything- I played hop scotch, rode my bike, roller skated, and tons of other things that kept me outside from sun up to sundown. I really think that kids today are missing out on some real fun.

LONELY RIVERS said...

What I remember most was that my parents never seemed to worry about me! We knew all of our neighbors and played long and hard all day long. We would get on our bikes and ride to the other side of town without worry or threat. Our parents knew we would be back in time for a meal. We played every game imaginable including cowboys and Indians, Boxcar children and movie stars paper dolls! One summer we burned a field down playing cowboy campfire. There were no Saturday movies but the whole town went to the Friday night movie..which cost twentyfive cents. Thanks for stirring up these pleasant memories!

Rachel said...

I have tried gee-haw whammy diddling, but never heard it called that before!

We used to play Simon Says, Red Rover, and Annie Over. I also played jacks, hop scotch, jumping rope (hot pepper!), climbing trees, corn cob fights, playing in the hayloft, wading the ponds and creeks and swimming, and riding my pony ever chance I got!! Ahhh...those were the days!!

SILVER said...

ah..JUDY! i'd missed you!

so comforting to be here with this really nice music background. So soothing ..like home with mom (not to say you're ol or anything.. i ain't young either..)

Games in my childhoos where i come from are also v. different from what's metioned above. But yeah, great memories. hugs-

ugich konitari said...

Judy, what a great name for a game ! I dont really remember playing with the actual contraption here, but we played with lots of natural things like certain types of beans, and pods and stuff, besides the usual highly physical games , some of which we made up. Todays kids dont know what they are missing with their rooms full of Toys-R-us , and fancy comp games......

Lilly said...

We lived outside as children - love your song, its perfect. Life was far simpler.

bobbie said...

I remember so well, summer evenings in the old neighborhood, playing hide and seek, red rover, etc., and waiting for the big old ice cream truck. And don't forget catching fireflies. Our mothers would be sitting on the front porch.
During the days we would be in the woods, climbing trees, or maybe putting on little shows for one another, using the roof of the tool shed for a stage.

Clara....in TN said...

Hi Judy, I remember seeing the gee-haw toy, but I never heard it called that. I also remember all the outside games you mentioned. We also played "May I." We would built play houses in the woods. We would sweep a really clean place and then use rocks to make different rooms in our house. We would slice potatoes and put them in salt water and take them to our play house. The only inside game I can remember having was Chinese Checkers. Remember it was a marble game. I can remember taking a quilt to the yard and staying there for hours looking up at the clouds to finds different objects made by the clouds.
Thanks Judy for a wonderful post. I love to think of my childhood.

Beth said...

Great post, Judy! I, too, played most of the games you did as a child, in addition to "Capture the Flag" and "Mother, May I". We also loved going to my Grandpa's farm and exploring his woods and swinging on the vines that hung from the trees. My Grandma always made us wash with Octagon soap afterwards, so we wouldn't get poison ivy! My children were fortunate growing up that we didn't have much money, so they developed their creativity and imagination thinking up new games to play. Being poor has its advantages! :-)

Kate said...

Hi Judy, I remember climbing the small fence into the field just the other side of my Mum's drying green/garden - we built a kind of tent using the cut grass at the end of the growing season and the grass was at that time about two and a half feet high so we stacked all the grass and leaned it against the fence it meant that we had a 'hidey house' where we could spend all our time telling jokes, stories and just enjoying the long long holidays ... we would also be heros that we saw in the films .. It was great fun ! In the winter in that same field we would sit on trays or pieces of card or hardboard and slide from the highest part of the field right down to the bottom of the valley.
It was an ideal playing area for kids - no traffic, no wild games just lots of great fun outside our houses and when we got hungry we just climbed back into our own garden... If Mum or Dad needed us they just had to shout ! All without electric games or TV....
Magic !

The 4th Sister said...

As a kid we lived way out in the sticks and rarely played with any neighbors. There were 8 of us kids but we were really strung out in age but there were always 3 or 4 of us living at home at any one time. I loved playing red rover and annie annie over....Clayton my brother always cheated, he was older that us girls...oh to just go back to those days...

Clara....in TN said...

Judy, your blog loaded really fast. I hadn't noticed it being slow. I will miss the music too.

pamwax said...

The kids today are going to find they are not as strong and healthy as we were. Thank goodness my grandkids do ride bikes and play sports.

I remember most of the games you played plus Jacks and of course Hop Scotch.

One Woman's Journey said...

You brought back memories with so many of those games. I agree with Lonely Rivers that no seemed to worry about me. All the children would play outside until the sun was setting. We stayed outside.
I remarked to someone the other day "I never see children playing outside anymore". Where are they? Hopefully not inside with the tv or computer games. Probably so and I do not think this is good or healthy. Just my thoughts.

clairz said...

Judy, you have the best topics on your blog! You always get a reaction from all your readers. Here's mine (from an early post on my blog, actually):

When I was a child in the 1940s and 1950s, our neighborhood in San Francisco was noisy with the shouts and cries of the children who lived there. We rode our bikes, we rollerskated, we played dodgeball, and we played jump rope. We raced on foot, on bikes, on scooters, and on skates. We took our skates apart and used the wheels on various invented riding vehicles.

In quieter moments, we sat on stoops and played jacks and pickup sticks. We collected rocks and cracked them open on the sidewalk, always searching for that elusive geode.

We played every sort of game of “pretend” that we could dream up, most memorably something called Covered Wagon, where we used a sturdy wooden gate as a wagon seat for the lucky wagon-driver-of-the-day, while the rest of us hunched down behind him in the “wagon” bed as we traveled west.

We took turns playing good guys and bad guys, riding pretend horses and shooting at each other with our cap guns. We ran, we skipped, we hopped, we jumped, and we turned cartwheels.

We fell off our bikes, my sister’s foot got caught in the spokes of my bike when I gave her a highly illegal ride on the back fender, my friend Skippy broke his arm rollerskating, and Trudy’s little brother broke several things when he discovered that he couldn’t fly off a second story porch. It was an exuberant, vigorous, and yes, somewhat dangerous life, at least by today’s standards.

In those days it was just what kids did all day until called in for supper.

Sweetie said...

What a coincidence. I worked at the office today (I'm officially retired). Our lunchtime conversation was about jumping rope, play jacks, the boys playing marbles. What a great post!
Sweetie

Sister--Three said...

On rainy days, we played I Spy...have you ever played that?

Margaret Cloud said...

Judy I never heard of this game, sounds like fun. We played kick the can, hide and seek, red rover and ball and jacks. I was glad to read about a lot of games you played as a child. To your list of what kids do too much of today is video games and cell phones, I would never dreamed when growing up having my own phone. Thank you for coming by, have a great week.

Grammy said...

Dear Judy,
What a really neat posting! I remember playing all those games...I played them all with my cousins, and we had marvelous times. We would play outside all day, and then chase lightning bugs after dark. Thanks for the memories reminder.
Love,
Ruby

Balisha said...

Hey Judy,
I must have played one of those games Sat. night. I think it was "jump over the box on the basement floor"...resulting in ramming into the concrete wall and a trip to the Er to see if I broke any bones. Just a bad bruise...on my upper arm and my pride. LOL
I do remember some of these games. What fun we had with these simple activities.

Leigh said...

Hey Mom,

I have no idea what that toy is but you must have taught Anne and I all the games you played when you were little. We played "Red Light, Green Light, Red Rover, Jump the Stick and Simon Says." I remember that we also played kick ball alot and of course we played with our horses so we were never in the house. I think it is a shame that kids today do not know what physical activity is! Ridiculous!! I can't imagine sitting in the house watching TV as a kid. I don't really even remember watching cartoons on Saturday morning...we always wanted to be outside at the barn or out riding our bikes and playing in the woods! Thank you for helping to make Anne and I outdoor kids.We still love being outdoors! :)

Love you!

Leigh

Anne and Leigh said...

I agree with everything Leigh said! I think we had a wonderful childhood and loved being outside! Going up to our HUGE garden and helping you and Dad! Such wonderful memories, and most of them were outside!!

I love you.

-Anne

The Muse said...

Very interesting Little gadget!
Mmmm...I recall just "pretending" mostly...we played house, movie stars and school...we did not have toys...and never worried about that :)