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The Early Sixties Movements

by Eva Pasco 

In the early Sixties I’d approached double digit birthdays. During those brief interludes where my nose wasn’t serially immersed inside a Nancy Drew mystery, I enjoyed other relatively sedentary activities.  These included but were not limited to: painting by numbers; checkers; card games like Old Maid, Go Fish, and Steal the Old Man’s Pack; jacks; shooting marbles; rock-paper-scissor; paper dolls; Slinkys. Having flipped the tassel on my high school graduation cap in 1969, the Sixties Movement characterized by counterculture and social revolution, flower powered without me. Freedom protests in a nation divided by war, campus unrest, bloodshed over civil rights, recreational drug use, and casual sex were events I caught on the evening news.  Similarly, many of the Early Sixties Movements most children the age of ten enjoyed were not of the beat I moved and grooved to, with the exceptions of bicycle riding, roller skating, hopscotch, and sledding.

I had no hang ups skipping rope as a solo act, jumping in the center of a clothesline twirled by two, or Double Dutching it simultaneously with others.  Chinese Jump Rope for three was not my fortune cookie: two players face each other at about three meters apart with their feet tied together, positioning the rope around their ankles until taut.  The jumper then stands between the two sides of the rope and must accomplish a “specific series” of moves without error or pause. 

Caught up in the hula hoop hoopla, mine was red and all I managed to do was give it a whirl around my waist a few times—never mind twirling it around my neck or one of my limbs. Aloha-- forget about rolling and throwing the darn thing so it traveled a distance on its own momentum. Yet, an early duration record for the hula hoop was set by 11-year-olds Paulette Robinson, Charles Beard, and Patsy Jo Griby from Jackson, Mississippi in 1960--their waisting away lasted 11 hours and 34 minutes.

The Early Sixties Moments - Duncan Yo-YoYo-yos had their ups and downs as did my Duncan Imperial which I carried around in my pocket like the rest of the ten year olds in the crowd. Inserting the end of my middle finger into the slip knot, throwing the yo-yo down so it unwinds the string until it travels to the end, jerking it, and as it returned, throwing it down again was of repetitious inconsequence to me.  For all of this yawning monotony, I couldn’t throw a “sleeper” or “walk the dog.”

Often with nostalgic longing, I’ll think back to those days of roller skating on my driveway, one of the Early Sixties Movements in the life of a child I thoroughly enjoyed.  One didn’t have to play by the rules or move with the grace of a swan to embark on a thrilling adventure.

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Underlying Notes by Eva Pasco  An E. Quiche by Eva Pasco



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