513 Hieu Pham


These items represent the things that stood out in my childhood, which if you wander around Philadelphia enough, you’ll see that these Hug jugs are as pervasive as cigarette butts, Arctic Splash containers, and condoms. At $.25, a kid could ensure that he’d stay hydrated, and if they had another $.35, fed with a bag of chips and top it off with a freezer pop for dessert. If your bike wasn’t up to snuff, you’d just shove the empty jug into the rear wheel where it passes the frame and then it’d sound like a backfiring motorcycle, albeit your speed was reduced to about half trying to pedal through the resistance. All of this for a quarter? Best value to be found in the hood.

The wall ball was another source of constant entertainment. However, at a dollar a pop, you’d never want to lose one. I couldn’t tell you how often a ball would go flying down a drain, and then half of the block was there concocting a wire frame from coat hangers and solder wire to retrieve the lost ball. If it went on a roof, it was game over and you’d better scrounge the buck or avoid getting any Hugs for a few days. Also, don’t get hit in the head with these things, little was more terrifying than the prospect of getting pelted with the Sky Bounce ball full force.