Thursday, July 9, 2009

Aggies and Alleys

Toss it on the nostalgia heap and douse it with a gallon of gas and flame it…flame it good. I’m talking about the idea that any kid today has interest in collecting or playing with marbles. Even children growing up in TV-free, no-Wii, I believe, sequestered, rural, cult encampments have no interest in marbles. It would be a genuine Twilight Zone moment if a 10-year-old boy ran up to his apron-wearing mom with his leather pouch of marbles and said: “I’m going outside to shoot marbles with Billy and Bobby, I’ll be home in time to wash up before dinner!” Now, if you’re a 75-year-old man caught in a time warp, you probably send prized marbles to your now teen-aged grandchildren with cautions to not let them get too scratched up. And, if you are the recipient and aren’t too drug-addled or distracted updating your Facebook, you may want to ask grandpa how many in his collection are:
• Toothpaste - wavy streaks usually with red, blue, black, white, orange
• Turtle - wavy streaks containing green and yellow
• Oxblood - a streaky patch resembling blood
• Lutz - a type of swirl, taken from the skating term
• Onionskin - swirled and layered like an onion

1 comment:

  1. I remember marbles, not shooting them but just looking at their beautiful colors and wonderfully smooth perfection as they slipped through my fingers -- like pearls.

    I also remember playing "jacks" with little stones. Then I moved to North America from impoverished Asia and learned that "jacks" was a packet purchased at the five and dime and came with a little red ball. I played for hours...