Rabid fan that I am, and with spring training just finished, I knew baseball had to be my blog topic so I could talk about the coming season, Derek Jeter’s recent retirement announcement, and the power of his presence and his play. Yankee Captain since 2003, Jeter has been the face of his team for more than a decade. Not only has he been a key part of recent Yankee successes, he has also helped hold the game together during […]
What does it take to play a game? Historic outdoor games like Duck on a Rock only require found stones. Other traditional outdoor games such as lawn bowls, bocce, and croquet used wooden balls. Early table versions of these games employed smaller ivory or wood balls or clay marbles. All these games have one thing in common: each involves knocking something aside with something else.
These games go back centuries and draw their basics from competitive games of shooting marbles. Billiards, […]
Holiday time is a good occasion to think about humor and play since it’s filled with reflection, rest, and relaxation with relatives and friends—a time to play again. Like vacation time, holidays let us back off a bit, lighten up, and try to laugh a lot more, for our own good. I firmly believe that the day we stop playing is the day we stop living.
Night after summer night, my friends and I would gather under the one streetlamp in our small hamlet to shoot marbles, devising our own simple games with the materials at hand. We didn’t know that the game of marbles, in one form or another, has endured for centuries. Even the Romans played marbles. In 1560, painter Pieter Brueghel the Elder depicted children playing marbles in his masterpiece “Children’s Games.” More recently, marbles have served as playing pieces in the misnamed […]
Summer weather has again brought an influx of motorcycles onto roads and highways. Seeing men and women enjoying a ride on everything from a small scooter to a big Harley V-Twin inspired me to think about when I graduated from my old Columbia to something with more oomph. Growing up in the 1960s, when motorcycle films enjoyed a peak in popularity, it seemed a very natural thing for some of us to move on to motorcycles after we outgrew our […]
Most of us recall our first bike with great fondness. We remember how long we waited for it, how difficult it was to first master, and how much fun we had with it. The day we received that bike was one to be remembered—a milestone, whether it was Christmas, the first day of spring, a birthday, or just an average Thursday. No wonder the bicycle holds a place of honor in the National Toy Hall of Fame at The Strong.
Renowned Scottish dramatist James M. Barrie, creator of Peter Pan, wrote, “The secret of happiness is not in doing what one likes, but in liking what one does.” Taking the notion a step further, 19th-century art critic and social thinker John Ruskin proffered that “mixing enough play with the work” helps ensure that each of our workdays is a happy one.
I believe that the staff at The Strong follows these precepts. Most of us would characterize a good portion of […]
Once upon a time, not so very long ago, it used to snow a lot more that it does today; or at least it seems that way. Without getting into a debate about climate change, let me say that during my childhood there always seemed to be plenty of snow to play in all winter long. Though horse-drawn sleighs were certainly fewer and farther between in the 1950s, sledding remained a popular winter pastime as can be seen from the […]
The importance of memory and its preservation comes to mind every time I see The Big Broadcast of 1938 or its sister film of the following year, Thanks for the Memory. It was then that Bob Hope first encountered the song that would stick with him for the remainder of his long life in show business.
The first movie, which also starred W. C. Fields, introduced the song “Thanks for the Memory,” sung by Hope’s character, Buzz Fielding, and by Cleo, […]