Did you ever have a sack of marbles?
When I was a kid I guess I had a hundred or so. Maybe two hundred on really good days. Back then, we played marbles for keeps. Win some, lose some.
I had Cat Eyes, Agates, solids, crystals, red, blue and green creams. some were beautiful. Others, not so pretty.
I never liked the brown creams. They were the first ones I’d wager to lose.
Don’t forget the steelies. Half inch ball bearings we picked up from somewhere.
My Dad got me a handful from his drilling rig. He handed them to me, when I was in the second grade. He had secured them in a small white cotton sack.
If he had given me gold, I would not have been happier.
And, then we had our shooters. Larger, menacing on the playground or in the school yard. While we kept our regular marbles in a sack. We kept our shooters in our pants pocket.
For a while, we boys owned nothing more valuable.
Then we grew up.
Marbles gave way to bicycles, baseballs and comic books.
Eventually we found the girls. They smelled of perfume. They smiled at us. We forgot about our marbles. Some of us lost all our marbles at one time or another.
The last time I saw my marbles, we were cleaning out my parent’s house. They were in a clear vase, sitting on a dresser in my Mom’s bedroom. My junior high school photo was nearby.
I was surprised. I was shocked. It was 50 years later. My Mom still had them. She kept them safe.
I thought my little brother had lost them when he was in the second or third grade. I guess he had his own marbles.
I recognized my prized shooter. A blue and white agate. There can’t be two alike in all of Mississippi. It had to be mine.
They’re gone now.
In a way, it’s all gone. Just my memories remain.
My Father, my Mother, the house three blocks from school, the furniture I grew up with, the toys and stuff that made my childhood. Most of it was sold at an auction.
I remember the night my marbles went away. This time for good. They fell victim to an auctioneer’s chant. Sold at the drop of the hammer, still in that clear glass vase.
Who’s got them now? Did they go to another six year old? Does he dream of playing for keeps, taking all the other kids marbles, using his lucky blue agate shooter?
After he grows up, will his Mom keep them, holding on to them in another clear vase, safe in a cherished spot on her dresser?
I hope so.
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