|Mabel and Percy (Casey) Jones. 1924 |
My parents' good friends
Mom and Dad, newlyweds, were out for the evening with friends.
At the Jones’ ranch . . . fifteen miles away.
Our nearest neighbours.
And yes it was a bit far to pop by to borrow a cup of sugar, but they were still our ‘close’ neighbours to the west.
Moving on . . .
In a time when the closest thing anyone had to electronic diversion was a radio or phonograph, the two couples and one of the Jones’ eldest sons were engaged in the next best thing.
Inevitably . . . cards.
They had been playing for most of the evening, amidst much conversation and hilarity.
Casey Jones (yes, that was what he was called) had been fighting a steady battle to stay at the bottom.
Another hand was dealt.
And Mr. Jones voiced his displeasure. “What rotten cards!” he said loudly, to no one in particular. “This whole evening, I’ve gotten nothing but bad cards!”
He sighed heavily and played the hand.
As it finished, his wife, Mabel got to her feet. “Well, I think it’s time for some refreshments,” she said, and bustled (yes, I meant to use that word) into the kitchen.
Mom got up to follow her and the two women happily visited as they sliced cake and set out cups and saucers.
Meanwhile, the men stayed in the parlour, discussing the game and Casey’s apparent inability to win.
“It’s the lousy cards!” he said. “I’ve gotten nothing but bad hands all evening!” He got to his feet. “Something has to be done!”
He gathered up the deck and arranged them neatly. Then he disappeared into the kitchen with them.
“Casey, what are you . . .?” his wife’s voice.
The sound of grating metal as someone opened the stove, then clanged it shut.
Mabel appeared in the doorway, tray in hands. “Umm, I guess our card game is finished,” she said, laughing.
Casey loomed behind her. “I’ve taken care of the problem,” he said, resuming his seat at the table.
“Yeah. By throwing the deck into the stove!” Mabel said.Ah . . . entertainment in the forties.