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Did You Ever Play Marbles?

Updated on July 1, 2011

Remembrances of my childhood...


There are many things that run through the mind of an eight year old boy. Family, friends, school-- yes, there was a lot of pressure on a youngster during the early 50's. You were beginning to grow up but yet you didn't quit have the trust and full adoration of the local neighborhood or society in general. Remarks from teachers and neighbors overheard like, "What do you think little Sammy is doing...", or "Do you think little Sammy's mother knows where he is...", or "Isn't that the little Sammy from up the street..." Just like you were always guilty, just waiting for something to happen so it could be 'pinned' on you.

Did you play marbles as a kid?

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"Just because someone says something, don't make it so..."


My dad said, "Don't let things bother you so much! You can't stop people from talking, but you can determine whether it will affect you or not..." and another thing that seemed to help was-- "Just because someone says something, don't make it so..." My dad must have been the smartest man, ever. He really knew how to brighten the light in a small boys eyes. He wanted to give me a small pocket knife to carry in my new overalls but mom wouldn't let him. She thought I was to young for a pocket knife.

shootin' marbles
shootin' marbles

'no two alike', like in snowflakes...


She wouldn't let me carry a snake or frog in my pocket. I didn't have any money and now I couldn't even carry a pocket knife. Why put all those pockets on overalls for an eight year old if you had nothing to carry in them...? Then I was introduced to marbles. Those little glass spheres, some clear and others with different colors in them. Dad said there were 'no two alike', like in snowflakes, and I was sure he was right. He brought a couple home one morning after work and gave them to me. He knew how I felt about not being able to carry anything in my pockets. He said, "to play, you just draw a circle on the ground with a stick and place all the marbles in the circle. Keep one out for your 'shooter' and then try to knock the other marbles out of the circle with your shooter."

just went out with my marbles in my pockets


Wow! That was cool. I didn't even ask mom; just went out with my marbles in my pockets, looking for another boy who might just want to play. Soon all; my friends had bothered their folks enough that they all had their own marbles. You could see boys shooting marbles all over the neighborhood. It was a great past time and if you were any good you could win extra marbles when you won. Everyone could recognize their own marbles and when you placed your marbles down they were 'free game' for whoever had the next shot. I soon had enough to fill all my pockets and everyday I would look through all of them and pick out the prettiest ones. I kept them separate in an old shoe box. I never played with my 'prize marbles' but kept them, just for 'show'.

I could always just 'pick up my marbles and go home'...

Of course mom wasn't totally behind the marble thing. She argued with dad that it was teaching me to gamble and she didn't want me to do that. Dad said it was just a boy having some fun. Besides, dad always said that anytime things were not going the way I thought they should, I could always just 'pick up my marbles and go home'...

© SamSonS


Submit a Comment

  • samsons1 profile imageAUTHOR


    8 years ago from Tennessee

    thanks yolanda yvette for sharing your reminisce and your kindness...

  • yolanda yvette profile image

    yolanda yvette 

    8 years ago

    This has just brought back so many memories of how me and my cousins spent at lot of summer and weekend days. Playing marbles.

    I was never very good at it. Not like most of my male cousins were. But I'd say I was pretty good for a girl.

    We sure had lots of fun playing and trading marbles.

    Thanks for this one.

  • samsons1 profile imageAUTHOR


    8 years ago from Tennessee

    Thanks so much DeBorrah, for your kindness in sharing your reminisce and comments.

    blessings to you and yours...

  • DeBorrah K. Ogans profile image

    DeBorrah K Ogans 

    8 years ago

    Samsoms, Thank you for the trip down memory lane...I rarely played marbles but my brothers certainly did... I just liked to watch them play and look at the marbles and hold them up in the light some of them reminded me of precious jewels...

    Thank you for sharing, In HIS Love, Joy, Peace & Blessings!

  • samsons1 profile imageAUTHOR


    8 years ago from Tennessee

    thanks Lady_E for your memorable reminisce and comments...

  • Lady_E profile image


    8 years ago from London, UK

    Oh, I loved playing with marbles and collecting them. This was enjoyable to read and I loved the games you played back then.

  • samsons1 profile imageAUTHOR


    8 years ago from Tennessee

    thank you Cassandra Lai for your encouraging comments...

  • Cassandra Lai profile image

    Cassandra Fun Tze Lai 

    8 years ago from Klang

    This hub remind me of my childhood.

  • samsons1 profile imageAUTHOR


    8 years ago from Tennessee

    thanks Granny's House for you comments, wish I still had all my marbles...

  • Granny's House profile image

    Granny's House 

    8 years ago from Older and Hopefully Wiser Time

    sam, I still have my marbles. lol No, really I collect them. Great hub

  • samsons1 profile imageAUTHOR


    8 years ago from Tennessee

    thanks again prasetio30, your comments are always most humbling...

  • prasetio30 profile image


    8 years ago from malang-indonesia

    Nice hub. You remind me how fun to play marbles. I have many collections of marbles when I was kid. Thanks for share the beautiful hub about marbles. I really enjoy the video. Vote up.


  • samsons1 profile imageAUTHOR


    8 years ago from Tennessee

    *thanks gr82bme for your fine comments...

    *and thank you dahoglund for your fine remarks...

  • dahoglund profile image

    Don A. Hoglund 

    8 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

    Yes, there were several games that we played. the gambling part--there were kids who would cheat. Stainless steel ball we called steelies were a favorite. They might have been ball bearings from something.

  • gr82bme profile image


    8 years ago from USA

    I played when I was a kid. There is a tornement in Wildwood NJ. every year.

  • samsons1 profile imageAUTHOR


    8 years ago from Tennessee

    *thanks Judi for your fine remarks...

    *and thank you fred for sharing your reminisce...

  • fred allen profile image

    fred allen 

    8 years ago from Myrtle Beach SC

    We used to have "marble day" in elementary school in the late 60's. We played a little differently. On marble against one marble. Steelies had to be hit more than once to win them. We used to call "Bombsies" when we wanted to make an airiel attack on another marble. You did it to me again! Thanks for the memory!

  • Judicastro profile image


    8 years ago from birmingham, Alabama

    My mom was the same way! She could be such a downer sometimes, but dad would come to the rescue. I loved marbles. I had some beautiful cats eyes and my shooter was the prettiest ever. Fun to remember thanks dear friend.

  • samsons1 profile imageAUTHOR


    8 years ago from Tennessee

    *thank you akhimamun for your kind comments...

    *thank you Specialk3749 for you interesting comments...

    *and thank you matt6v33 for your kind reviews and reflections...

  • matt6v33 profile image


    8 years ago from Bangkok, Thailand

    Oh Sir, u r killing me, with these wonderful writings of yours! "Marbles" hmmmm, can u keep a secret sir? As a child, my Nick Name was "Pex Bad Boy"! Not only did i play with marbles, i traded them, stole them, swolled some and and and....Well once again sir, thanks for sharing these wonderful stories, it places my mind back to a wonderful more simplier time. Keep writing sir!

  • Specialk3749 profile image

    Karen Metz 

    8 years ago from Michigan

    Yes, I have played with marbles and I wish I had some of those marbles now! The old ones are worth quite a bit of money. My daughter did some research on them and we have been looking for them in yard sales, etc.. She has made a little bit of money on some that she found, but we haven't found the one that is the most popular...yet.

    My kids have the cheaper marbles and I have shown them how to play. It isn't as big of a game nowadays...there are too many videos games, etc.. and boys do not carry them anymore. :-(

  • akhimamun profile image


    8 years ago from UK

    I have played with my husband,but i have never won lol.


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