When I was a kid, I used to play marbles. I saw the other kids doing it and found it to be an interesting game of skill. So off I went to the five and dime store to get some marbles. I looked at the offerings and found a bag with some marbles. I just looked for a good variety of colors and went home to check them out. My plan was to take them with me to play after school.
I played marbles in a few places, but the one I remember the most was under the trees in Sand Dune Park at the bottom of the hill. I played near the recreation center, a small little building with just enough room for an office, sports equipment and a fan for the warm days.
I can remember joining a game of marbles under the cool summer shade of the trees. Even caroms didn't hold a candle to marbles. I loved to shoot caroms but marbles...they had color, variety and group play.
I'd get settled with my bag of marbles and bring one out to play. It's been so long that I can't even remember the rules anymore. They came in a variety of sizes and colors. I remember the aggies the most. Blue, green, red, yellow and white. Some were small, some were big. The big ones were coveted, but they were easy targets to hit. Then again, they were hard to move if you had a small marble. You had to wait to see what the other guy would bring.
Some kids brought ball bearings to the game. Now that was interesting. They were heavy, so they had the mass to push other marbles into the hole. The rules are coming back to me now. That was the game: to push the other guys marbles into the hole. We might have invented some other rules, but that was the main rule. I guess there were two holes, I don't remember. I just remember the shade under the tree, playing on the cool soil, chatting with my friends and enjoying the afternoon.
To me, the physics were the game. Nothing else really mattered. Ok, if I lost my ball bearing, that was a problem because I didn't know where I could buy another one. The marbles were easy to replace, but the steelies, as we used to call them, they were a treasure. I just liked to watch how the marbles roll.
I don't know when or how I stopped playing marbles. I guess I just moved on and found something else to do.
I must be getting older. I seem to have lost my marbles.