Monday, March 4, 2013

Union Suits

Good heavens!  Granddaughter says she remembers playing cell phone games during recess.  But she does mention bouncing balls, and yes, besides circle games we did have bouncing ball chants, of which I remember just one (probably because I don’t remember owning a bouncy ball):
                 “One, two, three O’Leary
                  My first name is Mary.
                  Don’t you think that I look cute,
                  In my sister’s union suit?”
Other verses may have involved swinging a leg up over the bouncing ball.
Haven’t thought of union suits in lo these many years. My off-hand guess is that “union” referred to the one-piece construction -- white cotton “waist” or "vest" and attached underpants, with a big drop flap in the rear that fastened with large buttons. For winter, those sturdy undergarments had elastic garters hanging from them, to hold up cotton stockings.  When the garter fasteners broke off, they could be replaced by large safety pins (“diaper pins”), which ended up scratching unbearably during school hours.
So anyhow, we had circle games AND jumprope games AND handclapping games AND bouncy ball games.  And that's definitely it for the playground, kids.

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