Tracy L Dodson Dorothy Thomas Broncos are BC Holiday Tourney champs Lady Warriors win 3rd straight BC Holiday Tournament Jays take two in Pepsi Classic Lady Jays cap off Pepsi Classic with victory over St. Patrick Michael N Davis Alan P Johnson Paul Nevels James L Ballein Top ten stories of 2017 Chamber discusses plans for 2018 Marcy’s Country Kitchen holiday gifts Lawrence J Reynolds Chester L Sininger John E Wilson Lewis recognized by EHS Athletic Dept. Western Brown wrestling team tops Tigers in regular season dual Broncos even at 3-3 Lady Rockets blast past CCP, fall to Bethel-Tate Angela L Shuler John C Otten Shop With a Cop 2017 Teen charged with multiple rapes G’Town Council plans to raise water rates Rita Tarvin Rocket win streak reaches five G-Men ascend to 4-0 in SBAAC National Division with win at Williamsburg Jays soar to 3-1 with win at North Adams Young Lady Jays improving as season progresses Mary J Yockey Callie J Maynard Windle Blanton Daisy D Nevels Regional disaster drill held Jacob honored Sardinia joins new fire district County pays 10K in Varnau attorney fees Gast’s three-point shower drowns the Tigers Lady Rockets capture wins over Ripley, Batavia Keplinger signs with Shawnee State Warriors down the Devils, fall to the Greyhounds Broncos edge out Williamsburg, 53-50 Carol S Newman John E Short $200M Solar Farm discussed Adult education continues to grow at Southern Hills Georgetown 2017 Christmas parade Donald C Vance John C Morris Rebecca E Simpon Hot start sets pace for Broncos’ 85-40 win over CNE G-Men get off to 1-1 start Lady Rockets start off season with tough string of road games Basketball Special: 2017-18 Katherine J Wolfe Virginia J Germann Rev Commadora Manning Mona K Kirker Anderson pleads guilty Mt. Orab Christmas Parade Senior Playground now open Unemployment rate up slightly in October Bonita Planck Carol J Wagner Christopher O Richey Sr Five new members to enter WBHS Athletic Hall of Fame Blue Jays ready to soar under Woodward Fischer named to OPSWA All-Ohio First Team of football all-stars High school girls’ hoop action kicks off in Brown County Man charged with killing grandson Orscheln holds grand opening in Mt. Orab New joint Fire & EMS District discussed Dale G Ferriel John E Slack Nicholas A Arthur Bonnie J Roush Charles E Faul Phyllis A Mills Carl L Watson Marc W Bolce Robert R Moore Robert K King June R Williams William T Ishmael Sr Deborah J Napier High school hoop action begins Fayetteville SAY Girls Wing Soccer Team finishes season among state’s Final Four Devils visit Georgetown for OHSAA Foundation Games Grandfather charged in boy’s death Reward for Stykes info doubles Veterans honored at Western Brown Wenstrup to run for re-election Shop With A Cop Donation Kenneth M McKinley Vilvens signs with Mount St. Joseph SBAAC awards girls tennis all-stars Layman inducted into Miami University Athletic Hall of Fame SBAAC hands out awards to First Team girls’ soccer all-stars John D Marks

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