• Virginia Tolles


Laura Stanley / Pexels

A YouTube friend's son turned 12 years old last week. Outside, the sky was storming, so they played an indoor glow ring toss game with vivid colors marking the rings and posts. It took me back to those long-ago days when my dad and his brothers would pitch horse shoes.

In case you don't know how to play horse shoes, you set up two metal pipes a distance apart of some 12 feet (I'm guessing, possibly farther). Then, you paint real horse shoes in different colors (2 each), so multiple players can play against each other. The goal is try to "ringer" the pipes. If one ringers on top of the other, he wins that pitch. If his horse shoe only leans against the pipe, it is a "leaner."

I don't remember how the brothers kept score. This was their entertainment in the days of the Great Depression (1929 to about 1940) and probably originated in the old west (again, guessing).

The last time I saw them playing was on a rare occasion when they all gathered at our house. Even Uncle Leland was there, and he only came through when his duty station was changing from Pensacola to San Diego or back again. Anyway, they used the utility right-of-way behind the house as their playing field, and they went at it with amazing courtesy, considering they were brothers, who almost surely wanted to defeat one or another.

I wanted to stay out there, with them, and enjoy their visit, but I was called inside on some matter or another. Oh, well. At least I have my memories.

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