Join us in this New Year as we peek into the life of Jack Evans in 1936 as he and his friends fill their days in the pursuit of the world’s finest marble.
Each week in Tuesday Tales, we write to a word prompt, or a picture prompt. This week we’re writing a picture prompt we’ve chosen out of several possibilities.
Rounding the corner on Main Street, the two lads spotted Jack’s uncle, Uncle Chester, in front with his cronies seated in the mismatched oak chairs that lined the front of the store. Jack thought he’d never stepped inside the mercantile without seeing at least two or three old coots outside swapping tall tales.
“Where ya headin’, Jackie Boy?” Uncle Chester called out. He swatted at a fly buzzing around his face, looking as if he’d grown into the seat he inhabited.
“We’re just looking. Our friend said Mr. Hanson had some new marbles.”
“You like marbles, do you?” He slapped his buddy on the shoulder and chuckled as if they had a private joke. “I used to play marbles. Back when I was a kid. Got some of my best marbles off this guy here.”
His friend hung his head and shook it back and forth. “How many years later and you’re still reminding me of that?” He tipped back in the chair, lost in thought, and tugged on his long greying beard. “This whippersnapper here, he not only took me for my best marbles, he went and snatched my girl away from me too. Right under my very nose. I went off to fight the Red Baron and came home to find he’d married Thelma Lou while I was gone.”
“Ha! If I’d have known she was such a nagging fool, I would have left her for you,” Uncle Chester laughed and pointed a gnarled finger in Jack’s direction. “Now don’t be telling your Aunt Thelma that I said that, Jackie Boy.”
“No. No siree. Not a chance. I know what side my bread is buttered on!”
Eugene’s voiced echoed through the tattered screen door, out to the wooden porch where Jack was chatting with his uncle. “Jack! C’mere! Mr. Hanson’s got some new boxes of Popeye marbles!”
Jack rushed inside and the boys examined every box of Popeye marbles that filled the surface of the counter in the back corner, along with all the loose marbles Mr. Hanson offered for sale. They held everyone up, holding it in the light, comparing colors and twists, which had the best corkscrews, which were the prettiest patches.
“Twenty-five cents?” Jack kept repeating. “Shore wish I had me twenty-five cents. Jiminy cricket, these are nice ones.”
Eugene held another one up to examine closer. “Maybe yore mom will give ya twenty-five cents.”
“Naw. Not a chance. Especially not for me to buy marbles with. She’d say I was being ‘frivolous’. You know how mothers are.”
Mr. Hanson interrupted. “I do have some sparklers in the back room for a nickel a piece.” “A whole nickel? For only one marble?” Jack’s eyebrows raised high on his forehead and his mouth dropped open in surprise.