The new in-window air conditioner from Sears and Roebuck sat humming while people moved about at a weekend pace. The cabin was built from the hands of seven brothers nearly fifteen years earlier and a few of them were in the yard adjacent to the filled window slinging horseshoes towards metal stakes. A crick ran along side of the horseshoe pits that offered some muck for the throwing partner should your aim be on par with Mr. Magoo without his glasses on.
Out front, as always, was this year’s demolition derby car that was being gutted from unnecessary glass and seats for this year’s Sherburne County fair. A box filled with spare parts and another holding Krylon spray paint of various colors to fill the old Cutless Supreme with the names of the sons, spouses, and grandchildren of the couple that raised the seven boys.
An ex-girlfriend called them “the little people” which is easy to say since she stood at 6’2” and me at a few ticks above that. What they lacked in height, the ability to portray strength was never a question when an order was shouted to one of their sons to “knock it off” during one of their many wrestling matches that resembled a hockey fight before punches were thrown not Hulk Hogan versus Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake.
Since my slender frame didn’t allow me to toss a horseshoe with the accuracy shown on the pitching mound (ok, I could just throw hard and scare the hell out of the batter into swing) I took up indoor games with my grandmother. All card games were played for money: Gin Rummy, Rook, Pinochle, Five Card Draw, and of course Cribbage. The slate of marble with hand drilled holes, the imperfect green magic marker dividing the holes by five, and golf tees of various colors as pegs, this board is where I learned world of the four suits and luck of cutting the right card for a 24 count.
Always with a smile she’d politely ask for her quarter after yet another defeat. As most of the readers here are poker bloggers themselves and I think you’d find 95% of them could describe their grandmother or grandfather that introduced them to their love of cards. Yet another tie we’ll find to this motley crew of professionals, degenerates, and professional degenerates.
This is short and sweet, just like her.
Rest in peace grandma, and as promised while you were in the hospice, I’ll try to stay out of trouble.
At least until we go to Vegas.