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The corner malt shop is pretty much history at this point. I don’t even know where to go to get an ice cream soda, although I think you can still find root beer floats here and there. But the jumprope verses will never die. At least, I hope not.

It’s been a whole lot of years since I jumped for joy while a couple of my friends turned a fat cotton-y rope, but I still remember all or part of the doggerel we spouted for cadence as we got what (happily) we didn’t recognize as aerobic exercise.

Ice cream soda, Delawary Punch

Tell me the ‘nitials of your honeybunch:

A B C D E F G…

 I never knew any Zachary or Zedediah,  but that didn’t stop me from taking advantage of every letter in the alphabet so I could keep jumping. Once in a while, when I thought I could get away with it, I even started over again at “A”, claiming that I’d missed my chance to jump out at the real letter.

“Jumping in” and “jumping out” were integral parts of the elementary school vocabulary. So was “Teddy bear, Teddy Bear, turn around” and the “onesies, twosies, threesies” used in jacks and half a dozen other games. I cringe at the thought of what our kids and grandkids will remember as their own childhood pet phrases.

I suppose it won’t really matter if “Delawary Punch” gets lost somewhere along the way, because in another generation, jumprope will have faded into memories that can’t really be passed along. Even hide-and-go-seek is disappearing, along with hopscotch and other games, especially if the game incorporates some physical activity. In my day, it was “Red Rover, Red Rover, let (so-and-so) come over!” that was considered too old-fashioned for us. And we didn’t even have computers!

Times change, for good or bad, and usually for both. Those of us who have been around long enough to see the good and bad changes and some that, mercifully, were of short duration, tend to find ourselves reflecting on how great and beautiful those old times were. Every once in a while something nudges one of those memories in my mind and I find myself racing to the keyboard to blog about it so everyone will know just what he missed. Don’t be misled, though. I do appreciate having all the conveniences that weren’t around in those days (see my May 29 post) and there certainly used to be some things that I’m delighted to not see any more. But what fun it is to reminisce, especially with others who were there and know what I’m talking about.

Tomorrow, or next week, or next year this moment will be just a memory. I hope I’ll find it as interesting to revisit as “Delawary Punch.” Just as a quick point of interest, I only recently found that Delaware Punch was named for a certain type of cherry used in its manufacture, and had nothing whatever to do with the state of Delaware. Ah, well.

I’ll see you again, after the commercial.

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