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Old fashioned games are better

By Walter Geiger It’s really all about the smiles. Standing amid hundreds of kids chasing pigs at the Buggy Days Old Fashioned Games Saturday night, one was surrounded by smiles. It had rained all day and was still drizzling. Kids as young as four years of age ran in packs trying to catch porcine sprinters slathered in dishwashing detergent. The pigs smelled as good as they ever will. When the flag dropped, the pigs took off and the kids followed. They dove through the air, hit the mud and slid across the venerable turf at old Summers Field where many a football game was played. Whether they caught the pig or not, these kids were smiling. And their parents were smiling. There were two races for adult women which drew dozens of chasers. These ladies got wet and muddy but even they were smiling. One woman had two sons at the event who caught two pigs apiece. She went home with four pigs in burlap sacks. Though she was wondering what to do with the pigs and how to feed them, she was smiling. Over this same weekend came the opportunity to watch recreation football and girls softball teams practice and a girls soccer match. These kids were having fun. There were smiles all around. Even the girls on the team that lost the soccer contest were laughing and frolicking within five minutes of being soundly defeated. In contrast, you don’t see smiles from kids who play violent video games or at least you don’t see as many smiles. Kids need to be outside in the sun, playing the sport of the season with other kids. Despite the millions of entertainment options available to them today, many kids are not really entertained. Parents depend far too much on electronic babysitters. Perhaps we need to chase pigs more often than just once a year. Walter Geiger is editor and publisher of the Herald Gazette.

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