Sidewalks or footpaths are avenues to and from places. Some sidewalks are too busy with pedestrians to play on. Other sidewalks are too close to busy roads. But some sidewalks offer a perfect place to spend some time playing a game. At times, sidewalks are used because the grass is too wet to play in.
Other times, children play a game on the sidewalk when they’re waiting for their mother to come out of the house or shop. Children from city neighborhoods who didn’t have big yards used sidewalks more regularly. Whatever the occasion, sidewalks provide a straight, solid and level field of play that compliments many games.
When walking along a footpath on the way to a game in a field or friend’s house, the path itself provided countless possibilities for play. We were told “Step on a crack and break your mother’s back.” We didn’t really think that our mother’s backs would break if we did, but it was enough for us to try avoiding cracks for the rest of the day. Depending on the sidewalk, it was a good challenge to avoid the cracks, especially on old, in-need-of-repair footpaths. Often, the curbs of sidewalks became balancing beams, and we were always one good routine away from taking Gold at the Olympics.
Rumor has it that Carl Lewis started his long jump career by attempting to jump over every other cement square on the sidewalk. Well, that’s not true, but we did!