Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Block Party Madness

It was 3:30 pm yesterday afternoon and I was heading to the store to get some last minute school lunch supplies. I couldn't believe how many people were out and about at that late hour. Then I realized it was the middle of the afternoon and not late at all. I was so tired that I thought it had to be really late.

That's how much fun I had this weekend.

It was block party time for Oakdale Ave. It was the first year I was able to attend because in years past I would always be working on a show. I'd leave the house as people were setting up and return home to watch the last few stragglers stumbling into their houses.

A couple of years ago, someone suggested that I call in sick so I could attend the block party. I guess he didn't understand that we don't call in sick in theater. Oh no! We go to rehearsal or tech with runny nose, sore throat, and a high fever declaring to everyone that we'll be fine and we'll soldier through somehow.

I've done block parties before. In upstate New York, our block party consisted of burgers, dogs, a keg, a blocked off street and maybe a late night bonfire. One block over sometimes had a volley ball game or even a band playing. In Narberth (on the "main line dahling"), the block party took place on Memorial Day from 4 pm to 7 pm because everyone had to work the next day. I don't think the neighbors really like each other in Narberth.

Well, no such thing in Glenside. These people take their block parties seriously. They changed things up a bit this year and held it on Labor Day. Some believe that's the reason that fewer people attended this year. Others feel that attendance was down because it was BYOB. Still some claimed that everyone knew that I was going to be there so they stayed away.

Maybe it's true but I don't care, I had a blast. We had go-karts, a bouncy-bounce (for the kids, although one or two adults did get in), jello shots, and water balloons with 2 launchers. But the best parts were the games. Two of the neighbors, Dave and Nadine, organized a day of games for everyone. They did a spectacular job. There were games for kids, for adults and some for all ages. Although, I'm not sure Dodgeball should be played with mixed ages. Some of those dads whipped the ball like they were finally getting revenge on the gym class bully.

The races were my favorite. I notched an early win with the wheelbarrow race; those push-ups I've been suffering through have paid off. Brian and I were the odds-on favorite to win the 3-legged race because, well, I told everyone we were going to win. Dave and Nadine, a late entry into the race squeaked by us and won it twice.

In fact, Dave and Nadine, or their kids, won every race or game they entered. They were like the Lance Armstrongs of the block party games.

Next year, I'm insisting on drug testing.

You might have thought that all this fun would exhaust us for Sunday but never, ever underestimate Glenside. Because we had Monday off, Sunday was a like a second Saturday. Round 2 commenced with an impromptu volleyball game that turned into a bar-be-que with block party leftovers. And before you know it, we had the son of a neighbor lined up to watch all of our kids while the adults scampered off to a local bar to listen to Rockabilly, complete with dancing on the tables! To be honest, it was so crowded at the bar that there was no other place to stand but on the tables. We ended the night with a dip in the hot tub.

So, you can see why I thought 3:30 pm on Monday afternoon was really 3:30 am. Boy am I glad that school started.


  1. this sounds like so much fun...go karts too...the games sound like a blast...have not been to a block party in forever...

  2. LOVE block parties! I haven't lived on a block like that in ages, but my brother does, and oh, do the good times roll.

    Although I haven't seen much table dancing in the last few years!!!!