Growing up in a household of eleven people is a real challenge during certain parts of the day. Mealtime was always interesting, but you already know that if you read the first epic adventure about our family (read me). Our sleeping arrangements were interesting as well as the house we lived in had originally been built as only a two bedroom, two story. Maybe it could be considered a three bedroom as there was also a tiny third bedroom upstairs at the rear and it could sleep one comfortably – we stretched it into sleeping two small ones of course. In fact, when we first moved into that house, that small bedroom was my room. It appears that it had once been used to sleep a visitor or extended family member too because it had a kitchen sink and cabinets built into it (leading to its smaller size originally).
As a family of eleven, the aforementioned tiny bedroom belonged to the two youngest girls, Lori and Janelle. The middle bedroom was the largest sized and slept the remaining three girls, Bobbi, JoAnn and Toni. That left us four boys for the forward bedroom facing the street. Given we had 9 kids, an uneven number, this is the only arrangement that would work – the sex with 5 had to use the tiny bedroom and couldn’t be split up by the middle bedroom. We boys each had our own single bed. There was a set of bunk beds for Mike and Felix. Steve and I shared a set of trundle-beds. Continue reading
Summer evenings were wonderful on Prytania Avenue. With over 30 kids around my age on our city block, we rarely had a shortage of ideas for new and exciting games to play. One such game played over the course of 2-3 summers we called “Batball”. When playing baseball we would need a certain number of kids needed to field a team, gloves for our hands in order to catch the balls, bases (or dirt spots on the ground) and a bat with which to hit the ball. Baseball was also played during the daytime.
Almost everything about batball was the opposite of baseball. It was played at night, there were no bases, there were no gloves in batball, there was no team, no runs and no need to keep score. All that was needed to play batball was a light “whiffle” ball and nature – specifically real bats! Yes, I’m talking about the flying kind; the kind of bat that could pass rabies to us if it chose to latch onto your neck and suck your blood….those kind of bats. Bats only come out at night so that’s why this was a nighttime ‘game’. Actually to be considered an official ‘game’ I guess there has to be some kind of score or at least a winner and a loser. If we all had fun that night, we all won. Only once can I ever remember anyone even coming close to being a loser in batball. The rules of batball were simple and I document them here just in case you would like to play this game for yourself at home. Continue reading