It was a familiar noise that could be heard often in our household when I was growing up. So familiar I think it became background noise for my parents.
It was something I could do to entertain myself or to have fun with friends. My BFF and I had lots of fun laughing and playing with it.
I loved to hear that sound on the kitchen floor or on the hardwood floors in the living room, family room, my room or on the linoleum in the basement. Basically, anywhere I could play the game!
That familiar sound was associated with colors that fascinated me. Red and silver. So simplistic. So complex. Take a small red ball and bounce it. Then swipe the silver jacks to pick them up. That’s the game.
Sounds easy. The key is you had to Bounce, Swipe and pick up the jacks before the little red ball bounced again. Or you were out.
When playing with friends, we would toss or flip the jacks to see who would go first. Then we would either play solo, in teams, or if just two people we would switch off every other game. We played “onsies, twosies, threesies, foursies”, etc. You get the picture… In case you don’t know what that means, it is where you start by picking up one jack, then two jacks, then three jacks, then four jacks – all at the same time – until you could do “tensies” where you would swipe up all 10 of them all at once.
We would switch it up and sometimes do what we called a “double bounce” where it was legal to double bounce and see what you could do. We also played “clappers” where you would Bounce, Clap, Swipe. Good times!
We also played “hand toss” where you tossed the jacks in the air and caught them on the back of your hand.
The winner, regardless of which version we played, was the one who picked up the most jacks. I like to think I might have been a contender if there was a Jacks Tournament back in the day. 😉
Nothing exciting by today’s electronic game standards but oh how it fascinated me.
I still have those original jacks. I’ve long replaced my red ball which served me well and I have a new ball now. I think I’ll go sit down on the kitchen floor and play a game…