What ever happened to porch sittin in the South? Not to be confused with pole sittin which is something totally different that used to happen in the South and we won't get into in this post. When I was a kid porch sittin was the thing to do on the mill hill. Maybe because there was no air conditioning, video games, cable or satellite television (we did have three channels that you had to get up to change), malls, or fast food burger joints on every corner. Sometimes, on rare occasions, your parents treated you to a McDonalds or Hardee's hamburger but you had to go all the way to Spartanburg to get it. Highway 290 was loaded with peach orchards from Byrnes High School all the way to Highway 221 in Moore, fifteen miles away. Now from Byrnes to Reidville Road (about six miles) is restaurant row, along with a high class golf course, and from Reidville Road to Highway 221 there are about a hundred housing developments.
Back to my original thought. I can remember when I was a kid, my brother's and sister's friends coming over and all of them would be sitting on the porch with Mama while I was out in the front yard playing in the dirt with my matchbox cars. Daddy wasn't much on hanging out on the porch with the teenagers. He would usually go up to Joe Barkers service station after supper and hang out with the guys until it closed. He did build us a hockey game, much like the air hockey games you see now days, only without the air. It was made out of wood including wooden sticks and a wooden puck. He had several coats of polyurethane and then several coats of paste wax so the puck would really fly when you hit it. That game was the hit of the town and we had tournaments and everything. Even Paul Styles, a deaf mute that everyone in town looked after, would play the game and get really upset when he'd lose a game. My sister still has that game in her basement but everybody is always too busy to play it. Besides, it's not fun to the younger generation who have the X-Box or PS3 or both.
Most evenings we would play out under the street light while the adults would sit on the porch. Games like "Mother May I", "Red Light" "Simon Says" and a lot of others. In the afternoons we would play paper ball. That's where you use a rolled up newspaper as the ball and your hand as the bat. When you hit the "ball" who ever caught it or picked it up could throw it at you and if they hit you it was an out. The adults on the porch would have to settle arguments when they arose, and they always did, Kids today would go crazy if that's all they had to do for fun.
We are sometimes just as guilty as most others by taking the easy way out and running to Wendy's, McDonalds, KFC, Cracker Barrel, or one of a plethora of other places close to home instead of going to the kitchen and cooking something for supper. And then run to Target, Walmart, or the Westgate Mall to buy something we could probably do without. But, it's much nicer to just eat supper at home and retire to the porch with a cool glass of sweet tea or Pepsi and watch the birds on the bird feeder and wave to the people driving by.
We spend a lot of time on our porch but if you ride through the town you'll see we are the among the minority. People just don't have time, or maybe just don't take time, to just sit in the porch rocker or porch swing and enjoy the simple life anymore.
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