Saturday, April 23, 2005


I played marbles with my five-year-old son yesterday. I am lucky I still have the dexterity in my right hand to do this, plus the ability to do all the squatting, standing and walking involved. Though I won both rounds, my son managed to win three marbles from me. Amazingly, I made a few long-range shots, and it took me right back to when I was eight. That year, David loaned me a few marbles, and we played in my back yard. I managed to win back the ones he had spotted me, so he let me keep them. From then on, I played marbles exclusively with David. I managed to amass 70 marbles. When I told my family this at dinner one night, my father said "Don't tell David that!" I didn't get it. He explained: "You won 70 marbles, all from playing with him. He might not want to play you any more." Not long after that, David began avoiding playing marbles with me. I had noticed a new practice on the playground, of boys playing marbles by throwing them instead of rolling them, usually the big ones. It seemed a reckless, high-stakes game to me, and I watched anxiously as it grew in popularity, from the dominant boys on down. I had won a few of the big ones from David, but I was never willing to risk putting them in play, though he'd asked me. One day when I asked David to play marbles, he said he didn't play with the small ones anymore, only the big ones. That moment ended my marbles career. And it was only after playing marbles with my son today, that while loading the laundry, I made the connection that my sister who I often squabbled with, and who was practicing the art of social sabotage, had also been at the dinner table that night when my father told me not to let David get wise that I had won so many marbles from him. She went to the same school we did, that year that my marbles career ended.

Left grip is 44 pounds (41, 44, 41), right grip is 94 pounds (85, 91, 94), left leg balance is 8.66 seconds, and inhale volume is TK mL.

Weblog Commenting and Trackback by