Thursday, January 08, 2009


We went thru the marble craze in Detroit. We didn't really play Marbles, we just traded them around and stuff.
It was 2nd grade, 1965.
Mom and Dad took me and bought me the biggest bag of marbles you ever saw.
Probably weighed twenty pounds.
I probably could have traded for Manhattan with a bag that size. Or Boblo Island, where there was an Amusement park.
I was totin' it down the hall before class when it broke...f'n marbles everywhere, all clatterin' rollin down the hall. Everybody started to scramble to get MY marbles. I stood there, shell-shocked, afraid to cry, but powerless over my marbles.
My life and my marbles had become unmanageable.

Kids started skiddin' on them, going down fast. It was like a disaster in a Ball-Bearing Factory; like a sketch out of a Cartoon.
Everybody got the Jimmie-legs. They looked like they were running but no one was going anywhere.
Arms flailing, frontwards, back-peddlin', side-to-side...
I saw two girls holding onto each other trying not to fall, legs going every which way.
two teachers came out into the hall and *WHOOPS* feet flyin' up in the air.
It was like a scene out of "Kansas City Bomber", only without the tits. I think there were two cracked skulls that day, and if that were to happen these days they'd probably prosecute my Mom and Dad.
I never lacked for nuthin'.

I also remember the Baseball Card game, on the playground before School, where you got to go up on the Slide, call out the name and stats on the card, then flip it out to the crowd, which would turn into a mob at this point, all clawing and fanging their way to the prize.
With all eyes upon you, you holler:
"Al Kaline, "Mr. Tiger", 1968!
Batted .379 in the World Series!
Fields Right, Switch-Hitter and 10 time Golden Glover!"
You felt like a cross between Howard Cosell and a Circus Barker.

I can't believe I gave away my Ryne Duren card like that.


Barbara said...

You and my David could have traded baseball trivia until you were both blue in the face. He has never forgiven his mother for getting rid of his baseball cards.

I still have my marbles -- you know the ones from when I was a kid. I traded too, but only if I could trade up. I have a clear giant shooter that was my prize possession. Come for a visit and I'll show you my marbles. Promise!

bulletholes said...

David should click on my link to "Ryne Duren"...funny stuff!

cornbread hell said...

loved your friend's ryne duren story.

Mother of Invention said...

Wish I had all my marbles! (WE also called them Alleys) We called the huge ones Boulders. My mom sewed a really neat drawstring bag for them.

Lily said...

I remember trading bits of broken jewellery - glass stones that fell out of your mum's brooch or earrings, the sparklier the better. We also made fluff balls by picking the bobbles off each other's jumpers and sticking them together until you had a huge multicoloured fuzz ball. We were poor but we were honest.

banquet manager said...

What about "scully caps"? Do you remember those? That was when you took the cap of a soda bottle and melted different color Crayons inside to make cool designs. Then you would shoot them at your opponent's scully. The winner gets the spoils. Ah, to be young again.

Anonymous said...

The biggest marbles in my country are called 'boink'... he he he. Strange, but I seem to be the only person I know who isn't much into nostalgia. I like nostalgia from other people but lack the quality myself. I was thinking and wondering about this quite a lot the last couple of weeks and I am surprised. Not that my youth was bad -- it was good in fact -- but there isn't anything of it that makes my heart jump. It is all past & gone. Every memory is a defeat to time and I realise it with every memory, both good and bad. Or maybe there is one thing... when we used to drive around Europe as kids in the seventies and eighties; it was a custom to honk the car horn to every other Dutch car you saw. That charming and frankly idiotic custom has all but seized to be. Dutchmen are everywhere. "The Devil shits Dutchmen", cried out one English general in the seventeenth century when we were at war with them and we invaded London. He was right. Hey ho Steve, have a nice weekend and hold on to your marbles.


Rick O'Shay said...

You can sure tell a story.
It's funny how we can't wait to grow up but then long for the past when we're old. Not that you're old Bullet at all. But when I start telling my grand kids which are 16 and 20 about stuff I did at their age I see their eyes glaze over. Just as mine did when my pappy told me stuff he did. Nothin changes.
But I like your stories. You and my brother are a lot alike in how you use words. I envy that.

petra michelle; Whose role is it anyway? said...

Did we prize our marbles, my three brothers and I. Can't say we had the same experience you had which you describe so hilariously, Es.
And I still prize my marbles. ;)

dmarks said...

I still have a marble collection somewhere.