Donna C. Terrell

I Was Just Thinkin'

On Laflin Street: The Throne of Games

on April 1, 2013


We were three peas in a pod, Linda, Craig and me, back on Laflin in our idyllic world of the late 60s. We lived next door to each other; 3 houses all in a row. We played together every day, and not your average run-of-the-mill games. Oh, we would condescend to playing Hide and Seek, Captain May I? and Red Light with the other kids on the block. But when we were in our backyards, we made up games—cool games that came out of the soul of raw creativity. These games could last the whole afternoon. Once, someone threw away a large box. That box became a houseboat for us.  We sailed on our houseboat for a day or two until the garbage men hauled it away. Needless to say, we were heartbroken and land-lubbed, but that didn’t stop us. We were onto the next thing.

The three of us loved comic books. Linda and I were partial to the Archie series. Comic books were cheap—only 12 cents! And you could get them out of a machine! We also liked Spiderman. Craig introduced Linda and me to Justice League America and the Superman series.  We would assume our favorite JLA character and play Super Heroes on my patio. I was always Black Widow. I remember my mother buying me a Casper the Friendly Ghost comic book. (Casper? Seriously?) Clearly she didn’t understand my need to rid the world of vermin. Once I brought home a Batman comic book because the machine was out of JLA. Linda and Craig looked at me like I was crazy. Guess Batman was unacceptable. You know I wasn’t about to mention the Casper faux pas.

The Cloud Game was an exceptionally magical game. It took up all three of our unfenced-in backyards. I don’t know exactly what we did in that game, I just remember there were different kinds of clouds that represented different worlds. In my imagination’s eye, I saw each of the worlds we created. We saw ourselves floating and sitting on and flying around the clouds. That game lasted an entire afternoon, and it was the one game we were never able to replicate.

When I saw on the news that someone had killed themself by jumping out of a window, I was absolutely horrified. I reported this to Linda and Craig. How could this be? Why would someone want to do that? We concluded that for that unfortunate person, life had to be pretty dull. Thus, the game “Life Is Dull” was born. That game would always revolve around scenarios where a person would die of sheer boredom. But we always came back to life!

“The Lucky Food Hour” was a game show where the contestant made really atrociously creative cuisine, like barbecued yak with zebra brains, or an elephant cake. One would pretend to cook the food, the other would be the game show host and the last of us would be the screaming, cheering audience member who got to taste the culinary delight. We would have been shoo-ins for The Next Food Network Star!

Now we played board games, and I taught Linda and Craig how to play Solitaire after my father taught me. We played Dodge Ball, Kick Baseball and Piggy with the other kids. Linda and I loved Double Dutch and Hopscotch. Craig had a gift for gymnastics and we would turn cartwheels and build human pyramids. But nothing took the place of our own creations. Life was never dull for us.


One response to “On Laflin Street: The Throne of Games

  1. Beth says:

    I love these stories, Donna! You take my imagination into your world!!

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