Growing up in Ireland
Growing up in Ireland (by Cyril Duncan)
I’m talking about Hide and Seek in the park. The shop down the road, Hopscotch, Donkey, skipping, handstands, stuck in the mud, football with an old can, Dandy, Beano, Twinkle and Roly Poly, Hula Hoops, jumping the stream, building a swing from a tyre and a piece of rope tied to a tree (if you live in Dublin the lamp post), building tree-houses, climbing up on to roofs Tennis on the street the smell of the sun and fresh cut grass.
Hubba Bubba bubble gum and 2p Flogs, macaroon bars and woppas, 3p refreshers and wham bars, superhero chewing gum, golf ball chewing gums, and liquorice whip, Desperate Dan and Roy of the Rovers, sherbet dips and Mr Freezes, marathon bars and everlasting gobstopers. An ice cream cone on a warm summer night from the van that plays a tune - chocolate or vanilla or strawberry or maybe Neopolitan.
Wait…. Watching Saturday morning cartoons… short commercials. Battle of the Plants, Road Runner, He-Man, Swapshop and Why Don’t You?
Transformers, How do you do? Bosco (Sandy). Forty Coats and the Little Hobo and Lassie, Chucklevision, the Muppet Show, McGyver, Scarecrow and Mrs King, Little House on the Prairie and Highway to Heaven, or staying up for Knight Rider and Magnum PI.
When around the corner seemed far away and going into town seemed like going somewhere.
million midget bits, sticky fingers and mud all over you, knee-pads
on your jeans, Cops and Robbers, rounders, tip the can, Queenie-I-O,
climbing trees, spin the bottle building igloos out of snow banks walking
to school no matter what the weather, running ‘til you will were
out of breath. Laughing so hard that
Being tired from playing …. Remember that?
worst embarrassment was being picked last for a team. Water balloons
were the ultimate weapon.
I’m not finished yet………….
wasn’t odd to have two or three “best” friends.
any parent could discipline any kid or us!
When being sent to the Head’s office was nothing compared to the fate that awaited a misbehaving student at home. Basically we were in fear for our lives, but it wasn’t because of muggings, drugs, gangs etc. Our parents and grandparents were a much bigger threat! And some of us are still afraid of them!!!
Remember when …………..
Decisions were made by going “eeny-meeny-miney-mo”. Mistakes were corrected by simply exclaiming “Do Over”.
“Race Issue” meant arguing about who ran the fastest. Money issues were handled by whoever was the banker in ‘Monopoly’, The Game of Life and Connect Four, Atari 2660s and Commodores 64s. The worst thing you could catch from the opposite sex was germs. It was unbelievable that Red Rover wasn’t an Olympic Event….
Having a weapon in school meant being caught with a biro barrel pea shooter or an elastic band. Scrapes and bruises were kissed and made better. Taking drugs meant orange flavoured chewable vitamins. Ice cream was considered a basic food group.
Getting a foot of snow was a dream come true. Abilities were discovered because of a “double dare”. Older siblings were the worst tormentors, but also the finest protectors.
© Cyril Duncan
Siam Children's Foundation