"It's your turn." "Okay ... OW!!!! Let's play checkers instead!"
And so went our games of Carroms at our grandparents' house. Most of the time when Grandpa would play a game with us, it involved the Carrom board, either playing our own version of the game on one side of the board, or flipping it over and using the other side for a game of checkers. We never did know the real rules for Carroms but instead would play it like billiards, only on a board. The little pool cues that came with the set disappeared long before we started playing with it (or did Grandma decide the last thing she needed was three wild children running around with little sticks?) so we'd "snip" the carroms with our fingers into the little net pockets. The first game usually wasn't bad, but after that our fingernails really, really hurt.
I never thought about where the carrom board came from, only that it was always there, and still is (somewhere). Last week, while cleaning out a closet full of games, I found a rusted coffee can filled with the old wooden carroms, and I started wondering how this relic made its way into our family. A few days later, I was going through family photos and there it was, in the background of several photos from Christmas of 1958! It was perched under the Christmas tree, all pretty and new, just waiting for someone to try it out. And later, apparently someone did - my aunt June and her boyfriend (and future husband), Everett, were playing a game of checkers on it in one photo (I wonder if Grandma took the sticks away from them, too...)
|Christmas, 1958. If you peek behind Everett, under the Christmas tree, you can see the Carrom board in all its sparkly newness.|
|June and Everett checking out the new game.|
I will have to remember to drag out the Carrom board when my granddaughters are visiting, just to see how long they put up with "snipping" those hard little carroms around the board. I'm guessing just once.