Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Story Time

Once upon a time, long, long ago, before there was television and video arcades and other electronic entertainments, people gathered together and played games.  I grew up in a family of inveterate, competitive gamers.  My dad's clan was from Texas, and their game of choice was dominoes.  They played Forty-Two, which needed a lot of dominoes and evidently required slamming the tiles onto the table.  (I've never found anyone today who knows how to play Forty-Two.)  The sound of dominoes being shuffled takes me right back to my Aunt Esta and Uncle Minyard's house.  Aunt Jimmy and Uncle Clyde were part of the poker-playing circuit.  Mother and Daddy had two sets of poker friends and each group met at one anothers' house a couple of times a month.  It irritated Steve no end that I can fall asleep anywhere, anytime, just by closing my eyes.  It probably comes from being taken to all those card games as a kid, falling asleep on strange beds, listening to the shuffle of cards and the clack of chips.  Most of the other couples were childless, but I loved to go to the Hatches where there were kids to play with...and they were allowed to bounce on their beds!  Mother was competitive to the nth degree.  She and I once played Tiddly-Winks all night long because she wasn't winning, and I was just a little girl!  Mother and my first mother-in-law didn't speak for years...until they discovered they both played Pinochle, and then they came for monthly card games at our house.  I learned to play cards as soon as I could hold a deck, and Mother was no quarter asked, no quarter given.  No concessions were given for age.  As I told Kathryn, my Kids learned nine-ten-jack-queen-king before they went to school.  My sister had seven Kids, I had four, and Mother would take on all comers, playing Gin and Five-hundred Rummy.  As she got older, she'd play with a Kid until they got good enough to beat her consistently, and then she'd quit that one and go on to a younger child.  She just hated to lose. 

Thanksgiving is just around the corner.  The cards will come out as soon as the clan arrives.  I can't wait!


Linda Cox said...

Your posts have been particularly lyrical this week and wide ranging. You've woven time, topography and communication into a tapestry that would grace any home. Lovely.

Kathryn said...

I envy your card-playing holidays, as I can't get anyone to play anything! I remember my folks playing "Hell" with my aunt and uncle, and that was the most raucous of their card games. They each dealt themselves a hand of old-fashioned solitaire, but all the Aces went in the center and everyone played on every ace...and they didn't slam the tiles down, but I do think it required some slamming of cards down in order to be the first...and the fastest. I think my Uncle Don almost always won, and it was always good-natured. My mom taught me cribbage and gin, and her grandmother taught me canasta, "the card-craze boom of the 50's" the 50's!! I hadn't played in eons until I moved to Ohio, where "company and cards" went hand in hand, and I fit right in. My folks also played lots of bridge and threatened to teach me but that never came about, and yet I did learn (a bit) in Ohio. Now I pride myself on being a card player who loves a bit of a challenge and strategy, but OMG, that game was beyond me! However I was learning by playing, and with others who had been playing for a while, and it was the bidding and the stealth bidding signals that I couldn't master. And then, when trying to learn AND play at the same brain kind of zoned out with the stress of it all. Needless to say, that's not on my list of entertaining ways to spend an evening. had the Hatches, and once we had the Marks. They were new in town and our moms were both part of the brownie troup, so the Marks came over for bridge once and brought their 2 daughters. I think Elaine and I were about 8 and there was an older sister, but what I remember is that...THEY DIDN'T MAKE US GO TO BED...AND...when I thought the footsteps I heard were coming to tell us to get ready for bed, they weren't...THEY WERE BRINGING US ICE CREAM IN THE BRIGHTLY COLORED ALUMINUM BOWLS (that had brightly colored aluminum tumblers to go with them.) Ah, Bo...thanks for the walk down memory lane, and Linda...what a nice thing to say - and I agree!!! (I've recently learned "trump" which is a form of "spades" I think, and it is fun, but doesn't hold a candle to Texas Hold'em!)