Friday, October 28, 2016

Pitchin' Horseshoes - Saturday Snapshots

When I saw a Throwback Thursday post on Facebook, showing a backyard picnic, it reminded me of church picnics from my childhood. So I searched through my old photos and came up with these.

This photo was taken in Oak Cliff, a suburb of Dallas, Texas, where I grew up, and the get-together probably took place at Weiss Park.

A favorite competition at picnics was horseshoe pitching. I remember the loud clang when someone scored a "ringer" or hit the stake with the horseshoe. Here's a photo of my parents' friends in action.

The man who's tossing in this picture has his right foot next to a stake. 

If you're curious about the rules of horseshoe pitching, here's the link to the National Horseshoe Pitchers Association website:

We also played "Washers." In this game, competitors pitched large washers toward a shallow hole in the dirt. I don't remember the scoring, but the washer that landed in the hole (or got closest) got the highest point. I remember the washer as being about as big as the palm of my hand. I understand that nowadays the washers are thrown toward a cup set in a box, but we didn't have that fancy equipment. 

Did you play similar games growing up?

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  1. Horseshoe pitchin' seems like a lot of fun- but since my aim is horrible, I don't know if it's the game for me.

    It must've been fun looking at old pictures from your childhood. Thanks for sharing those memories with us!

    Have a good weekend!

  2. ah - those wonderful picnics of our youth! My pics would more likely be of a family get-together, but still . . .

    I remember the pick-up baseball games; and remember being introduced to horseshoes at age 18 when I camped with my then-husband. His family and friends were big into them.

  3. I was surprised to see a horseshoe pitching setup at a nearby park here in Auburn, WA. I wonder if many people still play the game.
    I always think of horseshoes as being a game for dads. Washer pitching was more for moms and kids... maybe because the horseshoes were so heavy.

  4. I love these older pictures! I've never done horseshoe pitching, but I know that Cornholes is popular down her in Portland (I think it is a Portland thing...)

  5. Sandy, I've been trying to subscribe to your blog (it's way past time!), but I seem to be failing. Will try again later.

  6. I'm sorry you've had trouble subscribing, Judy. Not sure what I can do to make the process easier. Thank you for trying!

  7. Sandra, (From a fellow OC Boomer) Our family holds horseshoe tournaments (large family) every year, right across the water from you, on the beach in Quartermaster Harbor (Vashon). But sad to say, we never have RC Cola (as pictured here). It was always my favorite! Also, at my Texas family reunions, washers was always the primary game chosen by the old men (unless they were busy with dominoes). Those reunions were usually in either Eastland or Stevenville, Texas.

  8. Thanks for stopping by, Mike. I'm glad to hear that horseshoe and washer tournaments are still a part of your family's tradition. Vashon Island is such a beautiful place.

  9. I don't think I knew you grew up in Dallas. The picnic looks great, they've got the urn out and everything. We didn't do big organised picnics like that. I do remember playing quoits.

  10. I'd never heard of quoits, so I had to look it up. Sounds like it's a lot like horseshoes pitching.
    Yes, I grew up in Dallas, lived in Miami for many years, and now live in the Pacific Northwest.

  11. I succeeded today--got subscribed (:

  12. I remember playing a lot of party games such as Button Button, Musical Chairs, and Pin the Tail on the Donkey. Friends of mine and I also played outdoor games such as Giant Steps, Hide and Seek, Red Rover. They were such a normal part of my childhood that I was surprised to learn that my husband wasn't familiar with some of them. Croquet and horseshoes I discovered as an adult.

  13. This sure brings back memories. I wish I had a dollar for every horseshoe game we played while I was growing up. Decades later my teenage niece invited a boyfriend over when Mom and I were going to be there. To put him at ease about meeting more family, she told him Mom was 90 and we'd be playing horseshoes. His response, "Your Grandma does ?" went down in family history--and became the title of a young adult story I wrote and sold several times. The rest of the story, as Paul Harvey used to say, is that regardless who played, Mom usually won!

    Way to go, Sandy!


  14. LOVE your story, Colleen. Your Grandma must have been a live wire.


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