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Hanging Out section guide

• Hanging Out Home
• Related discussion

• Pink balls
• Roofing it
• Urban fishing
• Over the fence

Choosing Teams
• Choosing up
• Once, twice, three: shoot!
• Odd man out

Rules and Rites
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• Imaginary runners

Moods and Seasons
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• The Dark Side

Our Neighborhood
• The candy store
• The ice cream man
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Memorable Games
• Death Step
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Member spotlight section guide

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Member Spotlight
• Kickball
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Hanging Out
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Special Topics
• Early memories
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• Celebrity Stories

Related discussions
• Tell your story
• Where was your hang out?

Roofing it

Kid on rooftop
Click for bigger picture
Are you sure it went up here?
The thing is that no matter how little cash you had, you always needed rubber balls. If the whole gang was broke, it didn't matter who owed who, you needed to work together to get one. If nobody had a reserve ball upstairs, you might raise cash by scrounging around for empty soda bottles that could be turned in for their two and five cent deposits. Those of us growing up in buildings with five or less floors might take the more direct approach and check to see if any balls had been "roofed" at a recent stickball game. Someone would go up to the top of the building and scrounge around, looking for something, anything that still had some life to it.

Roofs were tough environments for rubber balls and any ball that had been up there for awhile would get that pale sickly look, revealing how long it had suffered from overexposure to the elements. Still these were desperate times and we'd be willing to use whatever was available. In fact, if the roofs were empty or locked, an even more extreme alternative would be employed; navigating down a known ball snatching sewer, located on the downhill side of a play field.

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