Grapevine Online Exclusive

From the November 2013 magazine.

December 2013: Still got my marbles

It was just a game until booze entered the picture

We played marbles outside as soon as the snow began to melt and we could see the slushy ground. It was still so cold we wore mittens, though we knew they would affect our aim. More often than not, our fingers would be frostbitten by the time we got back in the house, where we would jump in pain in front of the fire until they thawed out.

Living in a small town in northern Michigan in the early ’60s, where really nothing but the bare necessities could be bought, I don’t remember where Jimmie and I got those beautiful spheres. We both loved marbles. At 8 years old there was nothing as important as steelys and cats eyes, comets and clearies. Their roundness was so comforting. Holding them in my hand and being with Jimmie, well, nothing else mattered at the time. We were in another world playing this game. We would get angry at each other and argue over the rules. So much was at stake if we were playing with marbles we wanted to keep or win. Sometimes we would part mad at each other, but we were always fair. He would never steal my marbles, and I would never steal his.

-- Judy B.

Concord, Calif., California

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