As I mentioned in the last post, One of my other favorite hunting grounds was the Mall. For those not from DC, when someone says “the Mall”, they can mean only one thing. The National Mall. It is the grassy area between the Capitol and the Washington Monument surrounded the Smithsonian. If you are going shopping in the traditional sense, you go to Pentagon City, Tyson’s or White Flint.
At that time there were a series of sandpit volleyball courts between the Capitol and the Air and Space Museum. On any given day during Spring and Summer there would be twenty to fifty marines, some with family or girlfriends, some stag, actively engaged in male bonding. For all intents and purposes they played nude. No shirts, no shoes and the least amount nylon possible. Again it is important to remember that the bulk of these guys were the Honor Guard. Big, strong and chiseled. Even the support personal were handsome.
One benefit of the mall is that is was not uncommon for people to have cameras and be shooting pictures. Inevitably I would be invited to fill in a team spot by someone who recognized me from Mickey’s.
These games (I am referring to volleyball specifically and not the one I was playing) were not typical. They often involved tackles and wrestling. Very similar to “Calvinball”. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calvin_and_Hobbes#Calvinball).
When “calvinballbroke out the serious volleyball players threw their hands up and walk off the court. The rest headed back to shower or grab a beer. Since I lived directly on the route between the Mall and the Barracks, It was very easy to separate one or two from the herd to come back for a beer and …. Small talk or more indoor calvinball.