Peggy Sanders: Confluence Chronicles – Where City & County Meet 4-4-11 | TheFencePost.com

Peggy Sanders: Confluence Chronicles – Where City & County Meet 4-4-11

Do you remember that an hour used to seem longer than it does now? When I got to go play at a neighbor’s for a whole hour, we packed a lot into the time. Now an hour seems so brief, perhaps because some may measure hours in terms of television programs, which do speed by. In reality time goes by faster as we age and I really don’t know why. Yet we can reminisce as slowly as we wish.

One of the favorite past times of kids, at least little girls, was jumping rope. It could be done alone or with friends. Current popular equipment, such as skateboards, require a smooth, hard surface and are generally used in town. Rope jumping is equalizer as it can be fun out in the country or in town.

The number of ropes can vary. Double Dutch is a particularly difficult version as it involves two long ropes, held at each end by different people. One or more individuals run in and jump double time to get over each rope as it comes along.

Many different songs were sung as we jumped. The rhythm of the music helped us keep the cadence and these should bring back memories for many readers.

Teddy bear, teddy bear,

Touch the ground,

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Teddy bear, teddy bear,

Turn around,

Teddy bear, teddy bear,

Walk upstairs,

Teddy bear, teddy bear,

Say your prayers,

Teddy bear, teddy bear,

Turn down the light,

Teddy bear, teddy bear,

Say good night.

By high school I guess we hadn’t outgrown our penchant for jumping rope because along with nine of my female classmates, we started a synchronized rope jumping team and performed at basketball halftimes throughout our four years. We used the hard plastic beaded ropes which made a nice clicking sound as we worked through our routines and the sound helped us keep in sync. We choreographed our own material to the tune of Herb Alpert’s “Tijuana Taxi,” his “Lonely Bull” and “Winchester Cathedral” by The New Vaudville Band. We used additional music yet these are the only ones I recall. We practiced hard enough that every performance was flawless.

Now, much to my surprise, I’ve learned rope jumping is a sport and there are competitions at various levels, including international. When you think contests, you naturally conclude training camps, workshops and judging clinics would be needed, and they are. Tournaments abound, teams and competitions are co-ed. In fact, “Skip It,” a USA Jump Rope Regional Tournament will be held on April 16, 2011, at Monarch High School in Louisville, Colo. Contact Rich Cendali at (303) 817-2941 for more information. I saw a video of them working out and they move incredibly fast. Acrobatics is even thrown into the mix. It looks like it would be an entertaining way to spend the day, even as an observer.

It would be another way to reminisce, watching youngsters do what we used to do and likely doing it better.

Peggy writes and from the family farm/ranch in southwestern South Dakota.