I'm old enough to remember that in my youth, we used to play marbles. There were cats eyes, colored marbles, agates, and the most coveted were the flints. We might play keepsies with most of these, but never with the flints, they were a treasure to us.
After our volunteer work at the state prison last night, as drove to the corner, I asked Nan "right or left". It is just a question and one I knew the answer to. She always says right. The left turn takes us to the freeway, the turn right takes us past the prison grounds and an industrial area followed by a winding road through a rural area mingled with an upscale area of homes.
We were quiet as we drove along together, each alone with our thoughts about the things we heard in our meeting with the inmates.
My thoughts suddenly changed directions as we crossed the Jordan river. How many times I had been to that very spot, fishing. I thought about my teenage years when my dad, brothers-in-law and I had gone fishing at different places on the Jordan river. Sometimes the fish weren't biting but most of the time the misquitoes were. I remembered one time in particular when those little bugs were so hungry that they biting me through my shirt.
One time I was fishing near where the water comes out of the lake. There was a little mud bar kind of jutting out in the river. I fished off the tip of that bar and had the best of luck. There must have been a school of catfish there, because I was catching one after the other, no waiting, just reeling them in. I finally got tired and went home.
The next day, I thought I would try that same spot. When I got there, there were two men already at the tip of the mud bar. They were both catching the fish as fast as they could get their lines in the water. They were both laughing and giggling like a couple of little girls at a tea party. I had almost as good a time as they did, just watching them.
My thoughts turned to my dad and how much he loved to fish.
My father once asked his uncle Will (who loved to hunt and fish), "what will you do when you get to the other side and there is no hunting and fishing"?
His uncle thought for a minute, then answered..."when I was a young boy, there was nothing better than a game of marbles...but I grew up!