“Marusya is silent and tears are poured out like a harp, her soul sings!” - a show of a costume song at the Penza 47 school in the city. This is how I used the ability to make shields, spears and swords from "all that is at hand." Not a bit of historical, but patriotic, cheap, reliable and practical!
Our house was very old, still built 1882, full of all sorts of antiques, which I did not appreciate then, because they simply did not understand the cost. However, the neighbors' children said that you, they say, are rich, because you have carpets, a TV, and a refrigerator, which, except for us, nobody else had. However, after the reform of 1967, the income situation in our country has leveled off, so much so that many of my street comrades in quality of life began to overtake me. What, actually, is not surprising, because my family was incomplete. Grandfather, grandmother and mom - that's the whole family, and my father was somewhere far away, although he sent alimony regularly. My grandfather was a pensioner of national importance, received a pension in the amount of 90 rubles and all his neighbors were very jealous of him. In addition, he had two orders: Lenin and the Badge of Honor. But he did not fight to fight. Not in the First World War, not in the Civil War, not even in the Great Patriotic War. His hernia was inguinal, and even inoperable and in addition also flat-footed, so he in all cases happily escaped the army and gradually rose to the head of the city education department, which he had to manage from 1941 to 1945 a year! Grandma received a pension in 28 rubles, worked a lot in the garden and traded flowers in the market. During the war years, she worked in a hospital at the railway and told about this that my boy literally sank with horror, although it was, in general, about the most common things for her at that time.
As for my mother, she taught a very strange subject at the local polytechnic institute called “History KPSS ”, in 1968, she defended her thesis in Moscow, became a candidate of historical sciences, and immediately left for advanced training in the city of Rostov-on-Don, where she met my adoptive father, Peter Shpakovsky.
But that was when I turned 14 years old, and it became indecent to play “like a little” on the street. But before that, my favorite game, and all of my street comrades, was a war game!
I started playing this exciting game with five and a half years - in any case, the memories from this moment are very distinct. Moreover, this game on our Proletarian street was not encouraged by adults! Neighbors approached my mother and very seriously said: “We are fighting for peace, and your son runs from the morning until the evening with a machine gun down the street ...”. To which she replied: “We are fighting is a process, not a result! While there is no universal peace, let it play! ”
Usually played by one side of the street against the other, or each side by itself. On my side were six boys and two girls. On 10 Home Ownership! So the decline in the birth rate in the USSR began even then, in the 1954 year! In the extreme house near the railroad, Sanka-snotty lived - a harmful and nasty kid with ever-flowing green snot from his nose. For snot and harm, he was periodically beaten all over the street, but neither of them diminished. The second in terms of harm was Vitka-Titka, who was so teased, if not always, but often. I lived in the next house, then two Mulina brothers — Tatars, although for some reason it was not at all with Tatar names — one Sasha, and the other Zhenka — the first eldest, the second junior. Finally, the last Vitka lived on the corner of Proletarskaya and Mirskaya, but they did not tease him about teasing him, his father was a pilot. That is, there are only six boys on “this side”, but none of them knew exactly how many of them were on the opposite side, but obviously more than eight, so “this side” was not usually associated with them.
Very rarely played in the Indians. We made feathers for ourselves - one of the chickens (who had chickens), and I of ravens, which allowed us to play "a tribe for a tribe."
But in order to play war a better place than the Mulins' courtyard was to be found. There was no garden, almost nothing grew, but there was an old and very long barn with a wooden leaky roof - a real “Titanic”, an ancient castle or battleship - that's who liked it and when! The first floor belonged to adults. A pig was kept there, and they pounded chickens for the night and kept food for them. But the "podlovka", that is, a place under the roof, entirely belonged to the boys. And around this barn they usually went to war and played or left all the “code” on a large clearing behind the railway, right in front of the old prison castle of the old tsarist time.
It is clear that nobody especially bought toys to us, and from early childhood we did everything we needed for the game ourselves. Swords were planed from the boards of the boxes, which sometimes "tyril" near the store or at the glass warehouse. The rifles were cut from larger boards, sawing first with a saw, and then, ostyudivaya tree with a knife, and treated with sandpaper. The closures were made from old lugs and it was very cool, because they looked exactly like real ones!
In addition to rifles, it was mandatory to have also a revolver, also cut from some suitable piece of wood. I, however, had a Browning, and I was very proud of it, because I found it in a picture in some magazine, redrawed it in a notebook “in small cells”, and tried to do it as accurately as possible. I didn’t regret the dime to buy a bottle of mascara and paint it black, so I almost looked like it, they could even scare an adult!
Then, somehow, in the Detsky Mir shop, I saw a “real parabellum”. Black plastic! At the price of 80 kopecks! Well, an exact copy! I still wonder how and who missed it, because all the other toy guns in terms of the copy number were just g ... How, in fact, everything else is toy weapon. For example, I bought a PPSh machine ... All wooden, with a disk and ... a round wooden barrel with grooves! Well, is it PPSh? Then they bought ... PPSH again! With a barrel in a metal casing, oblique cut - a dream! And the store is ... straight, like a Schmeisser. Well, how to play this? Shame one! “Let's make-believe this will be a Russian machine gun!” - “Come on!” We did not know the names, but thanks to the cinema - all types of weapons were very visual!
But adults and bows with arrows were strictly forbidden to them. They said that you would be left without eyes and broke mercilessly! And the same thing applies to slingshots. That is, we did them. And even from them shot! But it was a big risk. More often used slingshots from Hungarian - model aircraft gum. Such slingshots were used mainly in school. They were worn on the fingers. Two loops and all. And they were shooting from them with paper brackets, which were preparing for the change in class. Moreover, measures were taken not to be left without eyes! The guys whose fathers worked in the factories, they made transparent masks from plex. Well, I had a cardboard mask with slits for the eyes, which were first sealed with a metal grid, and then ... two tea strainers! But this is a smart product of children's technical thought of black color and with a skull and bones on the forehead, the “cool” one immediately confiscated from me.
The games usually took place for a reason, and were associated ... with watching a movie. For example, “Chapaev”, “Brave People”, “Alexander Parkhomenko” and others went continuously then, at seven o'clock almost every day and in the morning we already played it. In 1962, the movie “The Three Musketeers”, Bernard Borderi, came out on screens and the fashion began to play in the three Musketeers and line up on swords made of flexible nut rods. Again, I was lucky as anyone: the ladle’s ladle broke in the house (the handle broke off), but they didn’t repair it, and I begged for debris to myself. I made an excellent guard from a cup of a ladle, arched a handle out of the handle, and cut off a thick wire with balls at the ends of dried breadcrum from trimming a thick wire! I painted all this with bronze paint for the grave fences, and the blade itself again smeared with black ink and silver, and got an excellent sword of “Toledo steel” - the classic “Spanish bowl” that became the envy of all the boys from our street. Those who nailed a tin handle to the handle as a handle and that was already considered a great success, and here such beauty, as if from the picture from the book and everything was done by hand, in addition to that, among the boys of that time, almost all were appreciated. !
In the “white and red” we also played constantly, because besides “Chapaev” in those 60-s years we also showed films about the “Red Devils”: “Red Devils”, “Savour-grave”, “Crime of Princess Shirvan”, “ Punishment of Princess Shirvan "and" Illan-Dilly. " These films were shot so much that after them the hand itself stretched to the saber from the board or to the bolt-and-bolt rifle and wanted to run away, break into nettles somewhere and scream "A-ah-ah!" ! But there was also the film “Aelita” in the novel of the same name by Alexey Tolstoy! And what were the costumes of the Martian soldiers and the guns - to fall and not get up!
Therefore, there was no surprise that we then pasted cardboard cardboard helmets of Martian soldiers, and ran into them in yards in shorts, threw rotten apples and tomatoes from the vegetable garden and loudly screamed the incomprehensible words: “Anta! Dressed! Ut-ta-a !!! ”- before the stuttering scaring the street old women, who treated our games with great prejudice, because we ran“ naked ”. Usually the game was this: run along the street and in the courtyards with wooden rifles and shoot at each other - “Bach! Bah! You are killed! I - aaa - wounded! "
The prisoners were treated sternly. “Speak the password!” - to which it was necessary to proudly reply: “The king was sitting on the pot!” After that, the prisoner was usually taken to the barn and locked there, or tied up for real and placed in the grass there, usually poured out of the slop and washing water! So they somehow caught me, and they put me in the grass, but the neighbor didn’t look (and what to watch?) And poured a whole bucket of garbage on me. I jumped up, scared her half to death, but I forgot to say “chur-try - no game” from excitement, for which I received for attempting to escape with a grenade along a “kumpola”, that is, on the head. And that day, paper bags with street dust, which the wipers had piled on the pavement in the mornings, were made by grenades that day, and ... as soon as the bag burst from the blow, it was dusting me from head to foot and sprinkled it!
I came home all in such a way that in order to wash me, it took not one, but two whole troughs of water. It’s good that at least we had a column! And so it happened more than once or twice: bags of dust, rotten apples, tomatoes, lumps of dry earth from a dug-up vegetable garden — everything, everything was grenades, which we threw simply with frenzy. But for some reason, the slingshots in our street were not popular ...
We also had match guards ...
However, the Penza boys of that time also had a more serious weapon: the so-called “burning” or “burning” - homemade pistols with tubes instead of barrels, where heads were filled with matches and again with the help of matches located through the firing hole located behind. I fired such a gun completely for real, and if it was also filled with gunpowder, then ... one could only sympathize with the one who had this “ignition” torn in his hands!
Knight games we were not particularly popular, but still we played it. After all, there were films “Alexander Nevsky”, “Iolanta”, “Blacksmith's Banner” (1961, Tajikfilm - based on “Shah-name”) and Bulgarian “Kaloyan”. And then “Kaloyan” I liked more than the “Nevsky”, because it was colored. And there were also the luxurious 1952 films of the year “Wanderings of Odyssey” and 1958 of the Year “The Feats of Hercules”, where there were excellent armor, maned helmets and dipilonsky shields!
From cardboard and paper, I made armor for all of these films several times, and then my grandmother tied me a “real” chain mail and a raincoat with a red backing. But in this suit, I just somehow seemed on New Year's Eve. Playing in the summer with the boys was unthinkable. It meant “to stand out”, but it was impossible to stand out in Soviet times, one had to be like everyone else. But all these “developments have been very useful to me after decades. The Lefty magazine published a whole series of my articles on how to make children's armor and weapons for games from scrap materials. And ... many then took advantage of it, and I myself took advantage of it when my granddaughter went to school and her class had to participate in a school competition for a costume song!
But for games on the street, I still had a “right” simpler - a plywood shield with an eight-pointed Maltese cross (oh, how one neighbor poured me over for this - “and from the family of communists”); an ax, a sword, and another shield — from the back of a catering chair. Then I did not know that there were such forms of shields and he was a little shy. But then any shots he reflected perfectly.
And that's amazing. Then I didn’t even think that I would write articles and books about knights, but I was drawn to them with all my heart, as well as to rifles and every other weapon, and besides, I loved to do it all myself ... Later in the novel Ivan Efremov "Hour of the Bull" I read that children have the ability to guess their future. And examples of the fact that this is the way I have a lot. But more about that, some other time.