Inmate housing options narrow Opiate addiction strains Municipal Court Lillian E Cowdrey Catherine A Houk Warriors win Jim Neu XC Invite Week 2 football roundup Broncos unbeaten at 4-0 Lady Broncos compete in Bob Schul XC Invite Ronnie L Day Nettie F Lightner Wallace sentenced to life in prison Court filing links Anderson and Sawyers Man killed in Fatal Crash on US 52 Henry E Fields Anleah W Stamper Maxine M Garrett U.S. 68 reopens Drought ends for Lady Rockets G-Men rise to 3-1 with back-to-back victories Rockets cruise to 4-0 win over Jays Lady Broncos start off SBAAC American Division play with 3-2 win over Goshen Week one football roundup Fair board president Orville Whalen passes away Wallace guilty, faces life in prison Zoning ordinance approved for Village of Sardinia Felicity man killed in boat crash Evelyn E Smith Peggy A Wiederhold Thomas P Neary Warriors kick off SHAC play Lady Broncos stand at 2-1 Late Devil goals lead to Lady Warrior loss David R Carrington Sr Crum arraigned on murder charge Sawyers faces new charge Aberdeen’s fiscal officer resigns 12th Annual Golf Tournament by Veterans Home Aug. 26 Betty G Schatzman Robert L McAfee Paul V Tolle Herbert D Smith Helen R Little Eugene M Press Lady Broncos out to defend league title SHAC holds volleyball preview Lady Warriors packed with experience, talent for 2017 fall soccer campaign Georgetown’s Sininger off to excellent start for 2017 golf season New response team for overdoses Drugged driving becoming a bigger problem Danny F Dickson Eva J Smith Michael R Stewart Sr Charles McRoberts III Marsha B Thigpen Michael L Chinn William A Coyne Jr Woman found dead in Ripley A girl’s life on the gridiron Rockets face G-Men in preseason scrimmage 13th annual Bronco 5K Run and Fitness Walk draws a crowd William C Latham Four charged in overdose death Underage felonies strain county system Fayetteville looks forward to 2018 celebration Russellville council discusses underground tanks in village Marilyn A Wren Larry E Carter Virginia L McQuitty Practices get underway for fall sports Jays soon to begin quest for SHAC title Western Brown to hold Meet the Teams Night and OHSAA parent meeting Aug. 8 Norville F Hardyman Carol J Tracy James Witt Hundreds of Narcan doses used in 2016 Heavy weekend rain causes flooding and damaged roads Child Focus hosts Chamber of Commerce meeting Mary F McElroy Broncos out to defend SBAAC American Division soccer title Bronco 5K to take place Aug. 5 EHS volleyball team ready for new season Michael C Cooper Raymond Mays Harry E Smittle Jr Mary A Flaugher Western Brown’s Leto excels in Australia Rockets ready for 1st season in SBAAC Paddling, hiking activities available at Ohio State Parks SB Warriors get set to hit gridiron for 2nd year of varsity football Scotty W Johnson Glenna V Moertle Ricky L Hoffer Ruth E Ward David A Watson Janet L Dotson Vilvie S King Steven C Utter Cropper joins Fallis at Bethel-Tate Local kids find success in world of martial arts 13th annual Bronco 5K Run and Fitness Walk set for Aug. 5

How about a good game of Euchre?

Long winter days and stormy summer nights were always a time when a deck of cards would come out of the drawer and those interested and maybe not so interested gathered around the kitchen table and passed the time by playing cards. There are literally hundreds of games that can be played and I know several, but the one that seemed to come to the front was Euchre. There are very few who don’t know how to play this fast-paced, quick-thinking game. .

A quick overview of Euchre is that it is a game most commonly played with four people and two partners. The game is played with a deck of cards that consists of 24 cards with the winner getting to 10 points first. At home my parents, sister and brother played this game for hours. As the youngest, I had to challenge the winners and the losing team had to decide who was sitting out and who was the lucky one to get me as their partner. I learned the game at an early age and it was a fun way to pass the time. I also figured out that I had better learn quickly and play smart or my family wouldn’t allow me to play. It was not acceptable to make simple mistakes or lose.

I played Euchre at neighbors’ homes and at friend’s places and when I was able to drive I played at “Old Man Adams Pool Hall.” Mr. Adams had card tables where Euchre was played for a dollar a game and a quarter on the Euchre and I played there a lot. There was another table where the stakes were higher but that was never really where I wanted to be. I never thought I was that good and I hate losing money. When my cousin Walt and I played bachelors for over five years we usually held a card night on Mondays and of course being more players than one table, we set up as many as three and played for a championship. This took all evening and the time passed by very fast.

After I married, my wife (who had never played cards in her life) learned how to play games such as Hearts, Crazy Eights, 500 Rummy, and of course Euchre. She learned fast and became a pretty good Euchre player. We would go to friends’ homes on a Friday or Saturday and played cards until late at night, so as you can see I have always been interested in card playing.

That is, until the last few years. I’m hearing more and more people saying, “I don’t know why but we just don’t play anymore.” What is interesting is that cards have been played forever and all over the world. From doing a little research, I see that the Midwest is the heart of serious card playing. But now with the TV having 500 channels, I-Pads, cell phones, tablets, and video games, the focus has moved off of what we always did and led us into a free-for-all land with no central goal of not only winning but being with others and having a great time.

I still focus on Euchre as the most popular game in this area. When a person leaves the Midwest, they leave the people who know how to play and love the game. The dictionary says that Euchre is played in Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Iowa, Michigan, and of course, Ohio. I bet if you were to go looking in your home you would still find at least one deck of cards and hopefully old habits never die.

I know at our home we had several decks of cards. One deck was very worn and it was almost impossible to see the spots on them. That was Mom’s solitaire deck which she played with until they were worn out and then she would get another deck. Then there were two decks that we used when it was just our family playing on a rainy afternoon or a long winter’s evening. Mom also had a special deck that came in kind of a fancy package and had two decks with backs that were finished in a fancy attractive design. These were to be used for when company came to play and only then. Being caught with them out of the package was worthy of a harsh punishment. I know this first hand, a couple of times maybe.

Playing cards has always meant to me an enjoyable time to be with family and friends. A person playing cards must be able to think fast and have good recall as to what cards had been played and psychology skills to figure out how your opponent was going to play. It occupied your time and your mind. I can remember a lot of good times and the people at the card table I had those times with. The cards held were insignificant, but the people were significant.

I sit here thinking of when I played Euchre with my grandparents, my parents, our friends, our children, and hopefully in a few more years with our grandchildren. Just think about that. Five generations I will have had the pleasure of shuffling and dealing and laughing with over the same thing, something we all have in common and that was fun. A great time together and lots of winter weather passed by all at the same time. Maybe it wouldn’t hurt if you dug out those cards and at least played a game of Hearts or something. This might sound crazy but turn off the TV or at least hit the pause button. It probably wouldn’t hurt.

Rick Houser grew up on a farm near Moscow in Clermont County and loves to share stories about his youth and other topics. He may be reached at houser734@yahoo.com.

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The Good Old Days

Rick Houser

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2016 News Democrat