When I was growing up in the McLean Addition in Beckley, West Virginia, our yard was full of different kinds of balls.
In our backyard, Dad cemented a tall pole with a ball hanging from the end of a string called a Tetherball. I would stand on the opposite side of the pole from one of my friends. One of us would hit the ball clockwise and the other counterclockwise. The goal was to wind the rope all the way around the pole until the ball stops.
For hours on end I would play with my friends, hoping that the home court advantage would help me win. Although, I didn’t have a chance when my tall brother easily swung the ball over my head. Even when I jumped high I couldn’t stop him from winning.
We usually had a badminton net set up in the yard and we’d play volleyball. We also used the volleyball to play foursquare in the street.
My brother and I would shoot basketball in the backyard on a dirt court. Again, with his height, he had a real advantage over me.
I also threw baseball with him. Actually, my baseball throwing days were short lived because I hit him in the nose causing a nosebleed and broken nose.
One of my other fun toys was a clear ball with glitter inside called a Super Ball. I remember the advertisement, “Super Balls snap nearly all the way back; thrown down by an average adult, it can leap over a three-story building.”
Nerf balls came onto the market in 1969. It broke one of the biggest no-no’s in the world: No playing ball in the house. It kept me from breaking my brother’s nose again.
I still had some of these same kinds of balls in a box in my garage. Today’s gift was to give away my tetherball, volleyball and basketball to Goodwill. It will make space for other kinds of balls that I play with today—golf and tennis balls.