My friend Leah Weiss is finishing a new novel and got in touch with me recently asking if I knew anything about marble playing, say in the 1940s, or if I knew anybody who did. I found her a 1952 marbles national champion and told her this story:
When my dad was 10 in 1922, photo day at school was a big deal. Moms would dress their children in formal wear and pack them off to school with this instruction: “Don’t you dare get dirty before the photo or you’ll answer to your father’s belt.”
The lure of marbles was too much for dad. He smacked them around before school in the dirty of the school yard, like he was addicted to crack. The photo here is of dad during the photo session, looking like he knows what’s ahead when him mom sees the picture. Look, especially, at his knuckles.