Tuesday, May 04, 2010

I'm a Rambler. I'm a Gambler.

I grew up in a pretty typical church going American family. Pretty fundamentalist too, by today's standards. No card playing or dancing allowed. No shopping on Sundays.

Gambling was considered a major vice and completely unacceptable, not quite as bad as drinking, worse than smoking.

All of us kids played marbles. A kid took his bag of marbles everywhere. I would often forgo candy in order to buy marbles. There were high stakes games and low stakes games. In low stakes games only the pedestrian cats eye marbles were used. As the stakes went up the marbles became larger, more exotic and wonderful. The crown jewels of the marble world were agates. If there were some agates in the game, the stakes were high indeed and you had to ante up some to be let in the game. There was always a lot of controversy over whether steelies should be allowed as shooters.

A couple of bad games and a kid could be left marble poor, distraught and unable to sleep at night. It was cut throat gambling of the highest order. Nobodies parents minded it.


Buck said...

I guess they thought it was about skill, not chance.

No steelies.

reddog said...

It might have been about skill for some kids. With me, it was totally about chance.