Friday, 27 March 2020 00:41

Marbles in New Mexico Featured

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Joseph Ulibarri provided this photo from Las Vegas, NM.  He says: 

"The photo was taken by Nappy; the empty lot was behind what we call the Tru-Parts Building and is now Plaza Antiques. The photo was taken upstairs facing west. The building on the upper left is the Margarito Romero mansion. I'm thinking that the date is more likely mid 1940s. My Dad was born in 1926 and he looks like a young teenager. He's the tall one on the left-he wasn't that tall. His brother is on his right. The street is West National."

When I was in grade school in the mid 1950s, marbles was what we did when the weather permitted.  A 3 - 6 foot circle was drawn in the dirt.  Each player would place 5 marbles in the center of the circle in the form of an X.  To determine who went first, players would "lag" their shooters (which were larger and heavier than regular marbles) to a line drawn about 10 feet away.  Closest to the line went first, and the knuckles had to be on the ground, outside of the ring.  If the shooter knocked a marble out of the ring, he (girls never played) kept the marble and got another shot from where his shooter landed.  If no marble was knocked out of the ring, the shooter stayed where it landed and it was the next player's turn.  If a shooter was knocked out of the ring, that player was done and forfeited all of his marbles.  This continued until all of the marbles were gone.

Marbles had different names.  Cat eyes, puries, boulders, aggies, are what I remember.  There was a kid who's dad worked in an auto shop whose shooter was a ball-bearing called a steelie.  He could shatter glass marbles with that thing.

I understand that, in more genteel societies, marbles were played for fun and all marbles were returned to the original owners at the end of the game.  In Santa Fe, we played for keeps.  Always.  I lost way more than I won.

Marbles Los Alamos 1960

Read 236 times Last modified on Sunday, 05 April 2020 15:09
Mike Lord

4th generation Santa Fe Gringo.

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