Appalachia children Games

Best Place to Hide

Today’s guest post was written by Ron Stephens.


I remember playing hide-and-go-seek under Grandma’s yard light. The pole was ‘base’ and was in the east side yard about halfway between the house and the chicken pen. Our ‘bounds’ were the fenced in yard, though we weren’t too good not to fudge a little bit with some questionable places.

Within that quarter-acre or so were some good hiding places and some more not-so-good. There were the red and yellow canna lilies, way higher than our heads and with big, concealing leaves. There was the concrete block pump house we could circle to stay on the unseen side while IT tried to switch back real fast and catch us. There was the two-bay dog house if you didn’t mind sharing but it was hard to get in and out of fast. The dog house roof was OK but it was way too low and too easily seen, though IT didn’t always look.

But my two favorite places were; (1) a dry, wooden rain barrel (because one stave was sprung) behind the garage alongside the garden path and (2) the flat top of the garage roof itself. The barrel was fun, though most risky, because IT would pass within two feet and all IT had to do was look over and I was caught. The garage roof was the most fun because I could watch ITS every move but IT never looked up. Sometimes I could even get down, run to a place IT had already looked and not get caught and I knew IT wouldn’t look a second time. Best of all was running back and tagging base to be safe before IT every found my hiding place or tagged me first.

I don’t remember for sure but I expect we had to be called in to go to bed, probably about 9 o’clock. I am pretty sure we slept the sleep of the just, whether altogether entitled to it or not.

Ron Stephens


Ron’s post made me remember my favorite hiding places. Sometimes I’d slip around the other side of the house and wait till I heard whoever was IT run off after somebody and then I’d make a bee line for base. Other times I’d hide just in the edge of the woods where I had a clear view of base. As soon as IT got far enough away I charged straight to base. But my favorite place to hide was to make a giant loop. I’d head up around the pond in the steep creek banks and up through the woods until I could see base and make my attempt to get safely back to it. I still remember the excitement I felt when I successfully made the giant loop. I felt as though I was a spy behind enemy lines making it back across to safety.


p.s. You can catch The Pressley Girls this weekend August 11, 2018 @ 8:00 p.m. at Unicoi State Park in Helen GA.

Subscribe for FREE and get a daily dose of Appalachia in your inbox

You Might Also Like


  • Reply
    August 9, 2018 at 5:54 pm

    You don’t see kids playing the game hardly anymore. When my grandsons come and visit, they play hide and seek in the house now. We’re afraid they might be snakes around. Love the post Tipper.

  • Reply
    Ken Roper
    August 9, 2018 at 10:45 am

    I enjoyed Ron’s story of The Best Place to Hide. He explains things well and I could just see what he was talking about. I recon every kid played “hide and seek” back in the day. Now they can’t get away from the “new” gadgets long enough to enjoy life. …Ken

  • Reply
    August 9, 2018 at 9:36 am

    We had some big old boxwoods out in the yard. If you know anything about big boxwoods you know they are only nice and green on the outside. Inside they are dead and dried out except for the main limbs. It’s not hard to hollow out a cavity big enough to harbor a good sized youngin. We also had some arborvitae trees with limbs that hung to the ground.
    At the beginning of the game I would talk about bein skeert of snakes and spiders which I really wuddent but I knowed they was. PPW is what I call it, Preadolescent Psychological Warfare. Even if they could have found me they wouldn’t have wanted to. I was going along with their games but really playing with their heads. I still do that sometimes. Ain’t I awful?

  • Reply
    b. Ruth
    August 9, 2018 at 8:45 am

    I know everyone has heard “hiding in plain sight”…well, that is exactly what I did…We had a street light that cast light across the street and into the large field/yard in which we were playing…The old fence pole was home base…There was a huge bank that had Kudzu growing thick that followed the edge of the field/yard all the way down the small ridge and out of sight to others property. The folks kept it mowed up to the edge of the Kudzu. I would run all the way down the edge of the bank until it got very dark and the light didn’t reach…I just laid down flat as a pancake on the edge of that bank next to the Kudzu…I faced the “IT” person…When “IT” would walk away with their back to me, I would creepy/crawl up the edge of that Kudzu getting ever closer to the light and base until I had a chance to stand …but I was still in the dark…some of me probably was under some of the big Kudzu leaves on the edge of that bank…Most kids were afraid of that Kudzu bank…LOL…too snaky looking, I guess…Finally, when I got close enough and was near being exposed to the light and the “IT” walked away and had their back to me….off I would run and try and beat them back to base…Most times I won and kicked the can in an opposite direction from where I hid…Once in a while…a “IT” would be one of the “skinny boys track team sprinters” and I never beat one of them back to base to kick the can…I learned quickly and just stayed hid…until I couldn’t stand it…for occasionally a bug or just overthinking about a bug would crawl on my leg from the Kudzu and got to me and I gave up or tried to outrun the sprinter….Only one time did the “IT” yell that they “give” and couldn’t find me…Oh Boy, were those the good ole days….
    Thanks for the memories…Tipper
    I think a lot of the children we played “kick-the-can” with are gone…I know I miss them all so much…what fun we had back in the forties and fifties…

  • Reply
    August 9, 2018 at 8:24 am

    Ron’s memory of great hiding places reminds me of mishaps long ago as we played our childhood games. Sometimes due to bad weather we had to play inside which considerably lessened our choice of hiding places. Mom had a Cedar Chest which at one time could be found in almost every home. They were used for hope chests or were great to keep moths and varmints away from treasured items.. I had thought of what a great place to hide my baby sister, and my last attempt caused her to fight vigorously as I tried to close the lid. I never tried it again. As I grew older I thought of this so often, and I am so grateful my sis was such a little spitfire. That is how we learned growing up. They say God protects fools, drunks, and children. When I recall all the avoidances we had of serious injury, I believe this to be true.
    Once all the neighbors were out combing the creeks and mountainside for another of my sisters. Later, my frantic mother found her asleep under a pile of unfolded clothes in the bedroom. Many fun games and mishaps along the way, but we all grew up without broken bones. There was such joy really in making our own fun without helicopter parents.

  • Reply
    August 9, 2018 at 7:39 am

    When is the last time you have seen children playing. hide-and-go-seek ? I had totally forgotten that occupied so much of our time as a child in the summer evenings.

  • Reply
    aw griff
    August 9, 2018 at 7:05 am

    Some of the places I hid were around the coal house,smoke house, or behind the well gum. Often I would just choose an outside corner of the house. I was such a fast runner I could make it back to the big tree (base) before IT. If I had to depend on my running speed now I would be IT forever.

  • Reply
    August 9, 2018 at 5:45 am

    Mom and Dad played rook nearly every weekend, and one family that would come over or we’d go to their house had kids our age, one weekend they came and it was raining, so we were allowed to play in the house if we didn’t get to loud or destructive, hide and seek with out the base running, we played for a while and could never find our friends sister, we thought she was going outside then all of a sudden she’d show up in our bedroom sitting on the bed, and she wouldn’t tell us where she was hiding, this went on for a while, finally she showed us where she was hiding, we lived in an old house and it didn’t for years have indoor pluming, Dad added on to the house and made a bathroom out of what was once the kitchen and one window had a little wider frame than the others in the house and she was standing behind the curtains on the window sill all that time, she was kinda small and skinny and fit perfect on that window sill.

    • Reply
      August 9, 2018 at 6:53 am

      TMC-just this week I’ve had the pleasure of meeting one of the cutest little girls I’ve ever seen. On the way to class one day she told me “I’m always the littlest in all my classes, but I’m really good at hide n seek.” I bet she’s been hiding in places similar to your sister’s window sill 🙂

    • Reply
      b. Ruth
      August 9, 2018 at 8:59 am

      TMC…I loved your story! What caught my eye however, was the fact that your family played Rook every weekend…We did too and loved it…Sometimes we paired up and made teams. Soon we learned we needed to change partners as one team was always winning. This change helped everyone have a better chance at winning…We also played Hearts and a action grab game called Spoons…Spoons piled from the hosts flatware drawer in the middle of the table…When certain cards were achieved one had to grab a spoon…I wish I could remember how the total game went so I could explain better as it has been years since we played Spoons…Evidently some younger folks are still playing Rook often…As we were on the 127 Yard Sale (now about 650 or more mile corridor) selling our antiques, etc. I had some old Rook card packs and sold everyone of them…one guy wanted more if I had them..I asked if collected old cards or if he played Rook and he said, “Every weekend he and friends/family get together to play Rook!” Most of the ones we played with are now gone or have quit playing…great fun an memories…

      • Reply
        Garland Davis
        August 9, 2018 at 11:34 am

        Just checked, Rook Decks are available from Amazon. I remember playing the game. But don’t remember how it is played. The TV show Maverick was popular and inspired me to learn to play Poker, which proved very beneficial to me during my 30 year Navy career.

    • Reply
      August 9, 2018 at 9:19 pm

      We weren’t allowed to have cards in the house. Our parents finally broke down and let us play Old Maid and Rummy but never with “gambling cards.” The only Rook I knew about until I was grown was the ones that set in the corners of a chess board. My wife introduced me to Rook when I was about 25. I never learned to like it. We played something we called Back Alley Bridge that I thought was really fun but all her relatives liked Rook, so she mostly played without me. Actually I purposely played so poorly that she didn’t want me as a partner. I despised the game.
      My wife’s parents were as strict as mine. Her father was a Baptist preacher and wouldn’t allow any kind of cards in the house. He didn’t allow a TV until all his kids were grown and only then when his son in law was in Vietnam and his daughter wanted to watch the news. Times have changed drastically in the past 68 years.

    Leave a Reply