Gamboa News

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Do You Remember?

chronicled by
Jay Green (Jeannette Collins), David Ellis,
Lyla "Lou" Womack, Dick Shobe, Bob Krajczynski


The after dinner gathering of kids on corners and under houses and the games we played at night?

Hide and Seek?

Kick the Can?

Running behind the D.D.T. truck?

Running after the ice truck?

Trading cards?

Wooden Scooters made with roller skates?

Walking on tin cans with a string pulled through them to hold on to?

Wooden stilts?

Running after the Ice Truck

Jay Green
Do any of you remember running after the ice truck? They delivered twice a week - whatever size block of ice that was needed for your ice boxes. The men on the truck would chop of slivers of ice and throw them to us and we would catch them and think we had the best treat in the world. It didn't seem to matter if we missed and picked the ice slivers off the road. Yuk!! It was fun at the time, though.

Bob Krajczynski
One of your recent e-mails really generated a note. One of the stories Jane tells our friends is how she use to run behind the DDT truck, smelling [and sucking in] the fumes and singing some kind of song about how the DDT kills the cucarachas. I insisted she relay that to you. We'll see if she comes through or not.

Hide and Seek

David Ellis
I remember playing hide and seek one evening near your house and while hiding behind a car, a large head moved across one of my feet. My first thought was ³boa constrictor", it turned out to be the head of a big, friendly dog; I believe he was your pet. Except for a few pets, I never did see a live snake in the housing area.

Kick the Can

Lyla "Lou" Womack
"Kick the Can" what a fun nighttime game that was! All of our games were for that matter because we didnıt have television. The movies were at night and ran several times a week so if you missed one on a certain night you could go the next night to see it.

How well I remember that, especially the tears shed when I had to stay home and babysit my nine years younger brother while mom and dad went to the movie. But the next night was coming and the tears dried... after mom and dad left of course.

So on those nights that we were not entertained by a flick, we created our own entertainment. Kick the Can was my most favorite game. Two teams were chosen. A circle was drawn with chalk in the middle of the street with a can set in the middle. One team was "It" and they had to find the opposing team that was given up to the count of 100 I believe, to go and hide in the dark night.

At the end of the counting the "It" team had to come and find the now hidden, opposing team. Once a member was found they were hauled back to the circle and had to remain there until all of the team was gathered up. Then it was the opposite team's turn to hide. Needless to say, if one was on the team that got to hide first, the other team never had a turn to hide all night long because an unsuspecting, opposing team member ran and instantly kicked the can, thus releasing those in the circle to go out and hide again.

On one occasion, I fortunately was on the team chosen to go out and hide first. In back of my Up and Downer there were lots of trees so I climbed up into a mango tree and sat there comfortably for ever so long. There was not a soul around as the mosquitos reminded me that they had found me.

In a distance I could hear the kids yelling, "I caught you!" And then the familiar respponse, "No fair!" My place by far was the best hiding place in the area. I had no idea where the others on my team were hiding but I knew my team would be out all evening because I would remain in the mango tree all night if need be....mosquitos and all....such loyalty.

It was hard to refrain a chuckle when I heard the disgusted voices of the opposing team probably saying, "We'll never have a turn!" Little did they know that they just added fuel to what I was thinking when all of a sudden out of the blue a hand grabbed my leg. "AHHHH! I gotcha!" It scared the living daylights out of me. Iım sure it was Jimmy Morris, or David Henderson or Eileen Blakely or Dick Shobe or Arden Lou Cooke or David Ellis or Bill Campbell, because that was just like them. Or could it have been you?

After Dinner Gatherings

Dick Shobe
I do enjoy reading the Gamboa tales. My favorites are your stories about the Chagres and the descriptions of sitting on the corner after dinner by Bobby Connor and others. Pacific siders and Atlantic siders had more places to go and I envied them but Gamboa had the Chagres and th Cut and the Lake and the Bridge and I feel sorry for those that didn't.

Those evenings gatherings are unique to the those days of the "Armed Forces Radio Station Only" era. Not just evenings: one came upon them after movies at the clubhouse, dances at the gym and returning from Balboa. We weren't ready to go home and parents knew where we were.


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