Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Fun and Games

This is in response to this week's 5-question prompts for Family History Month from the 24/7 Family History Circle. I am completely ignoring the five question concept and I'm going to ramble. However, I'm sure someone can find at least five questions that I answered.

As a child, I subscribed to Games Magazine. I loved all manner of games and puzzles. I definitely inherited my love for word games from my paternal grandfather, who would attack the newspaper's Crossword Puzzle daily, and he also taught me a game called Jotto where you select a 5-letter word, and try to guess your opponent's 5-letter word before they guess yours. I'd have Sunday dinner at my paternal grandparents house a lot, and they had a lot of games in their closet that I would play with my siblings and cousins: Rummikub being the most memorable. My grandmother had a Mah Jongg set, but I never learned how to play.

My maternal grandfather taught me to bowl. He was a much better bowler than I ever have been. I struggle to break 100, and he almost always broke 200. My maternal grandmother (actually step-grandmother, as my mom's mother died young) taught me how to play gin rummy, and it remains my favorite card game. My grandfather later purchased me a copy of Hoyle, and I taught myself several more games.

The game I remember playing with my brother the most was Stratego. I consistently lost until my brother told me his secret. All he had to do was watch me set up my pieces, as I always put my flag down first, and then surrounded it with bombs. Knowing exactly where my flag was, the game was easy for him.

A St. Louisan born and raised, my favorite professional sport to watch is Baseball. There is no close second. I'll tune into the Superbowl for the ads, and I've watched a little WWE with friends for the socializing, but Baseball is the only sport I've actually ever followed. I remember watching the final game of the 1982 World Series – age 13 – from the bleachers, and running onto the field with my brother when it was over. I can still name the players of the 1982 Cardinals team by position. And I can still hear Jack Buck's voice.

Finally – since age 6, I have considered reading Fun and Games, and I am still three decades later a voracious reader. I've read a lot of science fiction, fantasy, mystery, and horror over the years, but my favorite novel of all time is Les Miserables by Victor Hugo. Hence, the first domain name I ever purchased was -- it says a lot that the character I most identify with is the mischievous child.

I've emboldened the present tense in the final paragraphs, because I noticed that the questions were all focused on childhood. I realize this is Family History, so we're talking about things that happened in the past, but I want to make sure I state that for me, fun and games doesn't end when you turn a certain age. Fun and Games goes on forever. Otherwise, life gets boring, and I don't ever want that to happen.

No comments: