I began working at the Boardwalk in 1948 at the Milk Bottle Game, one of two such concessions owned my aunt, Patricia Woolridge.
Walkin CharlieA couple of true hotshots would come by just about every Sunday in the summer after my senior year. They could clean the platform with a ball or two almost every time. In their mid-20s from over the hill, they weren't show-offs, and we became friendly competitors. After I'd get off work, the three of us would head over to another base-ball-throwing concession - Walking Charlie.
At the Walking Charlie game, a much more difficult challenge, manikins dressed in various kinds of clothing weaved along on a moving track. Wooden heads topped their bodies and a tin can was attached to the top of each head. If you knocked over the can, you won a prize. If you could throw the ball hard enough, the force of the blow against the head would tip over the can.
But we three always upped the ante and only counted direct hits on the cans in our contests.
There was more than one Sunday afternoon when I would blow my entire day's wages throwing against those two guys. The prizes never meant anything to us. It was the competition that counted.