Tempura mutantur, et nos mutamur in illis. The times are changing, and we with the times.
Earth Day April 22, 2005
Published on April 6, 2005 By dougplotke In Game Journals
Since 1970 we've been celebrating Earth Day. For those of you who may not know exactly what Earth Day is all about, in short, I offer it deals with environmental issues...all over this Big Blue Marble.


One day seems hardly enough to deal with all of these problems and of course it's not a one-day happening.

It's happening everyday in every country, county, city, town, neighborhood and street, avenue, parkway, lane and place. Everyday. The air we breathe. The water we drink. The very ground we live, work and play on. The key to understanding the problems and solutions is education. Education that gives back but is now in danger.

As a youngster in grammar school my friends and I would eagerly wait for spring having collected cat's eyes, clearies and even a dreaded "boulder"or two. I had saved my pennies and bought a new/used leather bag that fit neatly in my Levi's pocket at the corner candy store. I hated my new Levi's they were stiff and I had to roll up the cuffs. It took several washings for them to shrink to the correct pant length. School was over and we would meet at Jimmy's house. It was new and he had no grass. Just bare earth. Ideal for playing marbles.

We played two types of games. Ring and Pot. Ring was simply a large circle, maybe five feet or more in diameter, drawn in the dirt. Each would put two or three marbles at risk in the center each game. The first to start would shoot at another's marble and try to knock it out of the ring. Once someone hit a marble out of the ring it was theirs to keep.

Younger kids played for fun. Older kids always played for keeps. One turn each until all marbles were gone. Simple enough but there were always power players. These guys could shoot and hit a marble out of the ring in one shot. If you were lucky you had a "mib" which was actually a ball bearing. Metal and much heavier than the usual glass marbles. These mibs were killers. Since they were heavier they could, even if shot with a weak thumb, crash into a glass marble and knock it out of the ring with ease.

We played before and after school and even developed calluses on our fingers and thumbs. The game of pot was a hole dug in the ground about 4-5 inches deep. A line was drawn about 5 feet from the hole and the players lagged their shooters from the line to see who could get closest to the hole. The closest would shoot until they missed trying to knock someone into the pot. Once in the pot the marble was theirs to keep. A good thing to remember here is the "boulder". This was an oversize marble or mib, maybe ten times the size of a regular marble. It could be lagged and it wouldn't roll. You could really get close to the hole without going in. Once lagged you could legally switch to your shooter and clear the ground around the hole.

At the time we didn't know the value of the Big Blue Marble, or frankly even care. We took it for granted. The air, wind, rain, snow. The dirt on our knees; our hands and our face. The cold water from the drinking fountain. The trees, birds, flowers and bugs were all just there. Weren't they always?

Once Jimmy's parents planted grass we had to look for another spot. I'll tell you it wasn't easy finding a place where six to ten boys could play in the dirt making the noise that goes with a game of marbles. We ended up in the playground. We made new friends and
won and lost plenty of snake eyes, glassies and boulders.

This is the problem with the Big Blue Marble. There is no other place to go. If we don't take care of it. If we don't educate our children to appreciate it. ..their children won't have a place to play. Visit the Earth Day website: http://www.earthday.net/

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