There was a time when nearly every house in America owned a Monopoly game board, as well as Parcheesi, Checkers, both Chinese and the other kind, and if you were somewhat intelligent, a Backgammon board and a chess set. Suffering the lack of visual entertainment, we either passed the evening hours playing games or reading.

When TV knocked on the front door, we forgot how to play games. You might say we forgot how to think. It was so easy to sit in front of a lighted screen and wait to be entertained.

We played all kinds of games while I was growing up. I used the floor as my table for solitary four handed play. I’m sure I wore out at least a couple of Monopoly boards during the 30’s and 40s.

My family were keen on a great number of card games, the names of some are no longer in my memory. Game playing complements our spirit of competiveness as well as polishes our little gray cells. As we grow older we find that fewer people are playing games. Out of a large number of our friends, there are only a few who still like game playing.

I learned to play Bridge many years ago which has given me a great deal of pleasure, both in the game and in the social aspect. Some friends have been social players and some have been eager, go-for-the-throat players. Usually that kind of person likes all games.

My friend Joan was that kind of person. After learning a few tricks from a male client of mine, we entered a local Gin Rummy Tournament, and though we did not win, we didn’t disgrace ourselves.

I grew tired of Monopoly, perhaps because of such close early association, but a number of years ago on New Years Eve, we played the game with close friends at their cabin at Lake Tahoe. The men lost their paper money and went to bed early, which left Joan and I still in competition.

The hours passed, the coffee pot was refilled, and still we battled the game. This became serious stuff. The snow lay thick on the ground as the sun rose on a new year, when the game was finally decided—ten hours later, Joan was the unanimous winner! I have never played Monopoly again, and I do not expect to find another competitor with such determination.

Toward the end of her life, when beset with so many stumbling blocks, Joan continued to test her game playing with all comers.

Author: kaytisweetlandrasmussen83

I am a retired fine arts teacher, sculptor/painter, writer, and a native Californian. I love my family,dogs, horses, movies, reading and music, probably in that order. I have been married forever to a very nice man who is nice to old ladies, dogs and children.

15 thoughts on “GAME PLAYING”

  1. Monopoly was played even with the advent of internet. With the grandsons often ending up squabbling when one of them lost. I remember too when we were young, brothers fighting towards the end over lost real estate or gloating if someone ended up in jail.
    It was a good game but many kids now play what is called Esport. Games on the internet. Not enough time spent outside.!


  2. How right you are! The Pokiman game was scary and got them outside. Seems as if it is old hat now. The internet has been a good thing in many ways, but some kids just zero in on the small screen for hours. Not good. A fun game with family seems to be passe.


  3. With a bulk of technology overthrown on us for our entertainment we have lost the real entertainment of our lives. Even after spending so many hours in front of TV and watching movies or playing games on phone we don’t feel that same relaxment which was there earlier before technology.


  4. Nice memories. We still do a fair amount of game-playing in our family. My husband and I love to play Scrabble and cards-usually it’s a game of Rummy with a score to 500 points. Even the kids and grandkids get in on the game playing especially when we are camping or even just hanging out. I agree, it’s a lost art for the most part.


  5. Every evening after the dishes are done, I put my feet up and fill in the crossword puzzle in our local newspaper. A few days ago, one of the clues was from the game of Clue. I reached far, far back in memory to come up with Mrs. Peacock, Prof. Plum and Col. Mustard. Yes, nice memories.


    1. Oh I love hearing that. Some months ago a friend with whom we play Rumicube, decided to bring out her old Clue board. So all those fun names came back to me too. Games are so much more than just a way to pass the time. I used to relish the crossword puzzles, but of late I haven’t begun one. We seem to settle into a certain routine each evening.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. What wonderful memories this brought back. My dad and I played cribbage and chess a lot, and eventually I learned to play bridge. That stood me in good stead when I moved to Texas, because the domino game known here as “42” is very much like bridge, with suites and such.

    To a great extent, I still live in that world. I can’t find anyone to play such games any more, but at least without tv and such, I can spend time reading — which was our other evening pleasure.


    1. I didn’t learn to play bridge until in my 40’s. I was the only rank beginner, everyone else was polishing up their skills. But it opened doors to various groups of very nice people I would have missed. The church had a Whist night years ago which was bridge without the bidding, which showed me it wasn’t so scary. I think I was afraid of being rebuked if I made a mistake.

      It seems that half of my family played games and the other half read. I was lucky to live in both worlds.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. We played all sorts of card games for 2 3 and 4 people. My grandmother taught me to play Casino which I play to this day. An aunt taught me Canasta. My Father taught me to play Pinochle. I learned Hearts and Oh Hell from the guys in College. All great games. Far better than any version of Poker that I’ve ever come across. Still love board games too. Hard to find someone to play with.


    1. I think we were all very lucky to learn to entertain ourselves. My grandma taught me to play Chinese checkers and I became a virtual whiz. Canasta had a long reign in our house too. One of the nicest things you wrote was crediting the various people with teaching you the games. Great memories. My Grandpa taught me cribbage and dominoes which we still play now and then. Glad you enjoyed the post Barry.


  8. This piece is a tribute to both games and friendship, two things we enjoyed as children that can continue to delight us. all our years I never seemed to win at Monopoly, but I was a whiz at Parcheesi.


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