1950 Memories of Suburban Adventures

Prince Phillip

Snow White and I each believed that someday our prince would come. SW’s came and gallantly galloped off with her; mine just galloped off.

It didn’t take long before I became consumed with another new crush. To be honest, I was a serial crusher in pursuit of crushees. So many boys, and only one me.

Mom and Dad’s friends, the Shermans, had two sons. Phillip was a year older than me, and Gary a couple years younger. I never paid much attention to them, except as kids to play with, until one evening while playing hide-and-seek-tag at their house.

Earlier photo of Phillip, me, David, Gary

Earlier photo of Phillip, me, David, Gary

A huge spotlight lit the side-yard, creating spooky shadows. Phillip was it.

“Ready or not, here I come,” he called.

He found me and chased me around his yard. I impressed him with how fast my skinny legs could run. When he began to get close, I zig-zagged, not like a graceful gazelle chased by a hungry lion, more like Bugs Bunny evading Elmer Fudd’s shotgun. Phillip finally cornered me against Dad’s car. He placed an arm on each side, penning me in.

“Tag, you’re it,” he said.

A shiver ran through me. Holy crap! I stood still as he ran away. After a few seconds I shook it off and took after my new quarry. Ready or not (he wasn’t), Phillip joined Tommy, multiple Lennys, and Allen as an unwilling object of my affection.

When describing Phillip’s attributes to Mom, I pointed out that Sleeping Beauty’s prince is also named Phillip. It would have been nice if my Phillip rode a horse, lived in a castle, and fought dragons. Mine had reddish hair and freckles, but did not look a bit like Howdy-Doody.

Fast forward: Twenty years later, Mom mentioned that while I pined for Phillip, his younger brother, Gary had a crush on me. At the time, I considered Gary little more than a baby; the same feeling Phillip had for me.

“Why didn’t you ever tell me?” I asked.

Mom made a noncommittal shrug. I realized her lack of reporting was because she knew Gary would’ve instantly become my new focus, baby or not.

Chasing young boyfriends continued to be a lot like tag; they ran away and played hard to get.

Lesson learned: Wear good sneakers so you can run faster.

Related Posts: Boy Crazy/Impressing Boys ; Boy Crazy/Runaway Parade; Boy Crazy/Tale of Two Lennys 

Now it’s your turn: What neighborhood games did you play in the dark?


© Mary Norton-Miller and 1950s Suburban Adventures, 2012 forward. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Mary Norton-Miller and 1950s Suburban Adventures with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


  1. parrillaturi says:

    Enjoyed your adventure. There are times, when ones dreams, become nightmares. Wonder how your dreams of Phillip would have turned out! Hmm.
    I’m from Brooklyn, NY. We played follow the leader, which involved jumping the roofs. The leader would get a running start, jump, and land on the adjacent building. 7 stories high.. Thank God we all survived. Blessings.

  2. skinnyuz2b says:

    My dreams would have been fine, it’s Phillip who would need to worry. I’d be out-riding him on a horse, out-slaying the dragons, and generally squishing his ego by showing him out great I was.
    Wow, Parr, jumping roofs. Glad you surivived. I’m picturing Peter Pan and the Lost Boys when they played ‘follow the leader’. I can hear their song.
    Now I’m off to check out your blog.

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