Does anyone remember fried marbles? I think that we did that in the late sixties or early seventies. We’d place the mables in a fry pan and heat them for several minutes; then plunge them into ice cold water to cause them form internal cracks. They would look like tiny kalaidoscopes. We could then drill holes through them so that we could string them up for jewelry. We sure did ruin a lot of great puries that way.
Guess what? I still have all my marbles from the sixties. I don’t know how they survived but they are here and on the mantle piece. We used to play marbles but none of us knew any rules, so, we would make them up. I guess that’s the way it goes with marbles. In our old kitchen, the linoleum had buckled and my dad had nailed down the trough of the buckle. The coolest thing was that it created sort of an elevated highway for the marbles to travel along. The kitchen being an important place, my discovery of the unique properties of the lino forced a banning of the marbles from the kitchen floor. I guess that’s why I still have them. Last summer, I invited some kids from my block into the living room and they discovered the marbles. These two six year old girls had a chance to make up their own rules and play with my marbles. They are still asking if they can come over and play marbles. It’s great!
Marble season was big in the Sedgwick projects (West Bronx) –usually late summer. Each kid set up his own “carnival-type” game to try to win more marbles. For example, “one-plus-your-own” was typical in which you had to hit a valuable marble like a “beauty” to win it and your own back. I used to go through a whole pack in 2 hours. Not good.
It was in the Forties. Me and two brother that lived near me used to play marbles all day. We lived in a court in Hollywood, and there was no area to play in. On the corner was a Mama-Papa grocerie store with about a 3 foot dirt area (parkway). We would score a circle, anti up a few marbles in the center, and take turns trying to shoot them out of the circle with a shooter marble (usually our most favorite). We also dig small holes in the parkway and shoot marbles to the holes, as in golf. We would usually play untill the the two brothers would fight, accusing each other of cheating. But we had fun.