serendipitous reflections

Sunday, January 30, 2005

Tether ball

We watched Napolean Dynamite today and watching him play tether ball by himself really brought back memories ... not necessarily of playing tether ball by myself in high school ... when we were little, our dad put up a tether ball pole (I guess that's what you would call it). I was about five or six, my brother eight or nine. We would hit the ball around, but more often we'd just take turns flailing it around the pole and seeing how tight it would coil. I never truly "got" tether ball. But I guess it did pass the time.

When I was in fifth grade, I was bussed to a magnet school in central New Orleans because that's where the gifted and talented program was (back when they could still call it gifted and talented). We didn't have tether ball there, but that is where I was introduced to funnel ball, where you're supposed to throw the ball into the big funnel, then it will shoot out one of four spouts and you try to catch it. We would have competitions, and as one person was eliminated, you would move to the next spot (they were numbered one through four) and you wanted to be at number four when recess ended. The trick was we wouldn't throw it up top, instead we would throw it through the funnels. The taller kids and better jumpers could actually jump and put their hands in the funnel and throw different directions. I was never quite that good. I do remember getting one perfect throw straight throw the funnel ... unfortunately it took out someone from my class who was "winning" and another class ended up winning that day. Yes, I was th goat that day. I also remember we would bring our own tennis balls to play, and I would bring a tennis ball in the inside pocket of my Member's Only jacket ... I tried to be cool.

(In re-reading this post, I wonder if childhood memories shouldn't be wiped from our memories... come on, Member's Only jacket?!?)


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