- Family and Parenting»
Did You Ever Play Marbles?
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?
"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.
'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'...