Re: Street Games We used To Play - One Foot Off the Gutter

10/29/10 - posted by Martha

Hey Rosie! I recall One Foot Off the Gutter! You kept one foot on the gutter's edge and one foot in the street. The person who was "it" would stand in the middle of the street while teams of children were lined up along each side of the street at the gutter. The object of the game was to get to the other side of the street without being tagged by the player who was "it". If one got tagged, then they became "it" and took their place in the middle of the street to continue the game. Thanks for unlocking a childhood memory I had not thought about for years!

I also remember playing the game of O'Leary, so it was not just played by Irish girls in the Sunset. I am only half Irish (with a surname that is German), and grew up in Forest Hill.

Other street games we used to play included: Red Light, Green Light, hand baseball, tether ball, handball, two square or four square, kickball, circle soccer, Hide and Seek, and a more sophisticated game of Hide and Seek called "Heats". Heats was a game played by two opposing teams. The object of Heats was not to be caught and brought back to home base. If you were, you could be freed by someone on your team not yet caught. They had to come to home base and tag you in order to free you. This was not so easy as home base was guarded by one member of the opposing team. If you attempted to free someone and got tagged by the person guarding home base, then you were considered caught and had to remain at home base hoping someone on your team would come and free you. In order to catch or free someone, you had to tag them and simultaneously say, "One, two, three, Heats!" This was not such an easy thing to do. If your opponent got away from your touch (or "tag") before you finished saying, "One, two, three, Heats," then your opponent was still considered free or not yet caught. This game could go on for a couple of hours and in our neighborhood, it was only played after dinner on summer evenings until it got dark. This took place during the mid to late 1960s. Anyone else out there heard of the game of Heats and/or played it?

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