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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Elva Templeton, January 24, 1976. Interview K-0188. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Fun for a girl growing up in Cary, North Carolina

Templeton remembers what she did for fun: jack rocks, marbles, pop the whip, tag, ice cream suppers, and pulling candy.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Elva Templeton, January 24, 1976. Interview K-0188. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) in the Southern Oral History Program Collection, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Full Text of the Excerpt

ELVA TEMPLETON:
We didn't have much sports. I finally took basketball and had basketball later. The first time I went out to join basketball, the teacher hit me in the mouth with a basketball. And then we had our own games. And the boys had the baseball, of course. This was before basketball came in. That was later in high school. And we had all kinds of games though. Pop the whip, and we entertained ourselves. We didn't have any play equipment until later, the last year or two in high school. And played marbles, and played jack rocks. We didn't have any of these bought jack rocks, just pebbles.
ANNE KRATZER:
Tell me how to play jack rocks.
ELVA TEMPLETON:
Well, you had five jack rocks. You made a circle and you put a big one in the middle and four around. I mean, not four but you put several inside and one big one. And then you had one that you'd shoot it. You'd stand a certain distance from the circle and try to knock one out.
ANNE KRATZER:
It was similar to marbles then?
ELVA TEMPLETON:
Oh, I'm telling you wrong. I'm telling you about marbles.
ANNE KRATZER:
Oh, that's the marbles. That's fine. What is pop the whip?
ELVA TEMPLETON:
Oh, everybody takes a hand and makes a long row, a straight row. We had to connect hands and then who's at the head of the line would start running and the first thing the whole line is running, and the one on the end is libel to be slung out into the field somewhere if they couldn't hold on. Nobody liked to be at the end because you knew you couldn't hold on when they cracked the whip. See they'd gain speed as they kept going. Each one started a little faster.
ANNE KRATZER:
Did you have hide and go seek?
ELVA TEMPLETON:
Oh yes, we played hide and go seek, stealing sticks.
ANNE KRATZER:
Stealing sticks, what's that?
ELVA TEMPLETON:
Well, you had a dividing line, you had two sides. And you had a great big circle way in the corner in the back of each field and what you did was to cross that line and steal a stick and bring it back and put it in your circle. But if you got caught you'd be put into prison. Another circle was the prison.
ANNE KRATZER:
Did the other team try to catch you, like tag?
ELVA TEMPLETON:
Yes, each one tried to go to the other one's, stealing sticks. And if they caught you, they'd put you in prison.
ANNE KRATZER:
Were there any card games? How did the church feel about…
ELVA TEMPLETON:
Well, the people, they didn't like… You weren't allowed to play cards. Oh well, you'd just be libel to be turned out from church play cards or to dance, those things. They just weren't heard of. Not here.
ANNE KRATZER:
So what did you do then for entertainment?
ELVA TEMPLETON:
Well, our Sunday School teachers always had parties during the year. They had pulling candy and ice cream suppers, things like that. We didn't have covered dish suppers and that stuff.
ANNE KRATZER:
Tell us how you pulled candy, how it was made.
ELVA TEMPLETON:
Well, it was made with just sugar, and water and flavoring. Then you cook it until it got to a certain stage and then you pulled it. You got a bunch of it, you'd better be careful when, til it got cool or you'd burn your hands. Sometimes two of you would work together pulling the same piece and pulling it until it was brittle. Then you could pull it out in a string and cut it off to certain lengths. It was good.