Pipi’s Pasture: Playing games as kids
This week’s column was inspired by my grandson Kenny (Prather) who lives in Alaska but has been visiting us for the past week and a half.
Kenny grew up in Craig so some of his longtime friends are still here. During his visit they have been getting together after work to reminisce and play card games—with real cards and everything.
It goes without saying that these days nearly everyone has a cell phone or related electronic device. So does Kenny, but he enjoys playing cards face-to-face where players can carry on a conversation, laugh a lot, and still use game strategies and creativities. He says he and his friends refer to their cell phones only if they need to look up a word.
So all of this has gotten me to thinking about the games my siblings and I used to play when we were growing up. We certainly didn’t have any electronic devices; we didn’t even have electricity at our house until I was an adolescent. Playing games at night would have been under the light of a kerosene lamp at the dining room table. We kids mostly played card and board games in the daytime, especially in the winter, and it was a fun activity when other kids came to visit.
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Card games that we played included “Old Maid,” “Go Fish,” “Authors,” “Rummy,” and “Crazy Eights.” “Poker,” and “Hearts” were popular with adults. However, I can remember several times when we invited another neighboring family for supper and then we all, adults and kids alike, played “Hearts,” a game that teaches strategy.
The men in the community played “Poker.” At a monthly community get-together, men played “Poker” at the dining room table while the women sewed in the living room. Sometimes Dad hosted a “Poker” night at our house, and the men played until the wee hours of the morning.
Among the board games played by family members were “Monopoly,” “”Sorry,” “Scrabble,” and “Parcheesi.” Kids played “Tiddlywinks” and “Candyland” and some board games were developed around cowboys, movie stars, and books.
Always favorites of adults and children were “Checkers,” “Chinese Checkers,” and “Cribbage.” I never sat down to play “Cribbage,” but I can remember one of my sisters playing “Cribbage” with Dad every day at noon, while they waited for lunch to be ready.
As with Kenny and his friends, family members enjoyed the companionship as they played games. There was always plenty of laughter, and kids learned to be good winners and good losers. Many of the games are still available in stores—maybe as Christmas gifts this year?
Copyright Diane Prather, 2019.
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