Posted by Flatbush Kid
on Saturday, November 18th 2017:
In Reply to: Re: Stick ball at P.S 217 posted by Stan Field on Thursday, November 16th 2017:
The street us kids played on (c.1952-1962) was Albemarle Road between East 17th Street and the dead-end formed by the open cut of the BMT Brighton Beach Line. There was a pedestrian bridge over the tracks which made for a great backstop for our punchball and stickball games, but not if there was a wild pitch to home. In those instances, the "Spaldeen" might wind up on the tracks and that was that. ("Hey, you owe me 15 cents!") By the way, there was an identical bridge over the tracks at Glenwood Road; both are long gone.
In general, we played punchball; rarely stickball. Stickball could bring the police by a call from a resident from any of the nearby apartment buildings. However, we had the advantage of being able to spot their arriving car because of the physical layout of the dead end and East 17th and Albemarle. So, when we saw them coming, the stick-bat would merely be rolled under a parked car.
The police would tell there had been a complaint that we were playing stickball and a resulting hit could break a window. Were we doing that? No, sir! We assured them we were only playing punchball and that was the end of that.
Looking back, the police certainly weren't fooled; but, I believe they didn't hassle us because we were "good" kids involved in sports and not something bad. A few pro forma words about the law and off they went; shortly thereafter, the stick bat came out from hiding and the game proceeded.
The dead-end also provided the area where we could play two-hand touch football, relay races, Johnny-on-the-pony, Spud and other such Brooklyn favorites. You can't go home again, but you carry in your heart and mind all that was; it will never go away.
Reference ID: BK95265
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