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home : columnists and contributors : columnists and contributors October 6, 2015

8/14/2013 12:01:00 AM
Harbor Springs...Now and Then
Cynthia Morse Zumbaugh

We drove quite a bit last weekend and it made me think of the ways we used to entertain ourselves on family trips or on school outings. Remember when cars were not equipped with DVD's and we didn't have hand held video games, tablets or phones? We had to manage to keep occupied without plugging anything in and with no ear buds to keep out the sound of our siblings. "He's touching me", "do you want me to stop this car?" and the classic, "Are we there yet?" are certainly phrases that all of us recognize.

We played some great games, some of which actually stimulated the mind rather than numbing it. Everyone has played the alphabet game at some point, I would guess, where you pick the letters in order from signs along the highway and you had to see the letter first; two people couldn't call the same letter. How many of us hoped for liquor stores, zoos and those authorized vehicle only turn-arounds, just to get the tough letters.

I remember when the call to cut down or remove billboard from the highways came around; my first thought was how would you successfully play the alphabet game?

Another game that we played was Bingo, not sure why it was called that, with Volkswagen Beetles. The object was to see who could spot the greatest number of that particular car (remember they were much more plentiful a few decades ago) and again, only the first person to see it got to count it. When you saw one, you shouted out "Bingo." Red ones doubled the amount that you had and if you were lucky enough to spot a white one, you got to "take" everyone else's'.

There were always memory games, like the one where each person has to add an item. For example, the first person says, "I'm going to the beach and I'm taking a beach ball." The next person has to repeat that and add something, such as "I'm going to the beach and I am taking a beach ball and a towel." This continues until someone messes up.

Even as an adult, I still enjoy the game where you choose a category, say animals, and each person must name an animal whose name begins with the final letter of the last answer. If you say horse, for example, I could say elephant, you could reply with turkey and so on, again until someone cannot think of an answer. Since this can be done with geography, movies or just about anything you can think of, it never really gets old.

There were always the old stand-bys, like twenty questions or operator (the whispering game where the object is to see how much the story changes as it goes, something played too often in real life.) Later on, Mom got us travel scrabble or travel bingo, where you actually found items along the road and played a regular bingo game, but somehow that wasn't the same. We thumb-wrestled, until we got too rowdy, played cat's cradle if we remembered string, we made chains out of gum wrappers and created paper cootie-catchers to tell our fortunes.

The other easy way to amuse yourself while annoying those around you was to sing. "99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall," "There's a Hole in the Bottom of the Sea," "There's a Hole in My Bucket" - the kind of song with enough verses or repetition to make them go on seemingly forever. I'm sure my parents cursed Joe Jezisek sometimes for teaching us these gems; I'll appreciate him forever because it got me through years of running children's programs at Boyne Highlands and because I rarely find a child that I can't entertain.

Proud Grandma Madge Kosequat would like to share the information that her grandson, John Kosequat, is now out of the military after several tours in the Middle East and he is now heading to New York City where he plans to study at Columbia. John plans to go to medical school and we thank him for his service and wish him the best on his future endeavors.

Happy Anniversary wishes on August 17 to Tami and Jesse Hadix and to Howard and Marilyn White. And you didn't hear this from me, but Jesse is also celebrating a birthday with a 4 and a 0 in it on that same day. Bet he never forgets his anniversary, clever boy.

We have lots of other birthdays this week, too, for some of my favorite people.

Thursday, August 15, Happy Birthday to Pam Allerding, Duane Beswick and Mike Coors. Friday we send birthday wishes to Jerri LaCount, Kim Mathews Vantilburg, Tina Orman and Peggy Seamon and on Saturday to Rudy Milner, Gary Morse and to everyone's favorite historian, Ed Meyer. Monday we celebrate the births of Tara Lasley Kruzel, John Adams, Mike Geary and Kim Hurd and on Tuesday, August 20, we send special birthday wishes to Maddy Heinz. Finally, on Wednesday, be sure to give a birthday hug to your UPS man if he happens to be Jim Kinner. Best wishes to a wonderful group of people.

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