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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - April 1, 1972, Lethbridge, Alberta Solurday, April 1, 1HI IFIHBRIDGE HERAID Fwiscr Hodgson. When marbles appear springtime is here IOW many thousand times have I heard that expres- sion when I was kid in school, Did you ever hear il? Or was there some different warning used during your primary edu- cation? It was whispered, yell- ed, and hollered in every typo of communication known to kids and caused more argue- menls and fights over a game of marbles, than any confronta- tion in modern United Nations meetings. The game- just couldn't be played without this exclamation, it was as much a part of the game as the mar- bles themselves. Every spring as scon iis there was a patch of earth showing through tho .snow, two or more kids pounced on it with a sack of shooters, alleys, and dubbs, and started, the marble season. Quite often these patches were far from being dry, but a little clean mud never stopped a Ixw from playing marbles, and the knees of pants and long black stockings took a real beating. Fan No dubbs, was near- ly always called out just before each players turn to shout. It meant he couldn't do anything extra except shoot from right where his slwoter was h'ing, No moving it around to get a heller ,1 n g 1 e. hini'lmig up closer, dribbling for an advan- tage on second shot, killing your opponent by lulling his shooter and earning another shot, or anything else that might be to his advantage. "Xo dnbbs" added to the warning wasn't included in the fan part, so a very generous player could just say and let other knock hs-o or more "dubbs" out of the ring if ho happened to be that, lucky. Older boys in grade 5 to 7 usually discarded the rule, and like veteran gamblers, threw the ceiling off the game with the sky the limit, as long as each paid for his demanded ad- vantage. That is if he wanted to move sideways to line np two or more marbles he had U) back away some to pay for tho move. As yon got older it was sort of a gentlemen's unwritten law that you wouldn't kill each other, "hinch" up closer, or take any of the other little ad- vantages banned by "fan no dubbs." These games draw quile an audience at times, something like a high-stake pok- er game in a gambling den. The crowd stood around out of the players way, and nobody said a word till an extra good shot brought, a cheer from bystanders, just, like any n'Jier serious game watchers. The many different types of marbles all had special names. To begin with the cheapest and most plentiful was the dubb, a baked clay product, sometimes glazed, and produced by tho thous and. Th ey were reall y used like chips in a card game, only they were won by knocking them out of a ring marked in the rt. The shooters were usu- ally twice as big, and made of glass with designs cast through them, and some were pretty fancy. Every boy had a special goodluck shooter, and if he lost it his luck was very shaky till another proved itself, Some used steel ball bearings for ehooters, and they all had pet names like steelys, aggys (re- sembled glassys, alleys, and peowees. An Old Chum to- bacco sack made the best car- rying bag, unless a hoy could talk his mother into making a stronger one on her sewing ma- chine. Most teachers banned loose marbles in pockets, and quite often as many were lost by confiscation as through poor shoal iii g. Accumulating enough cash to buy the first supply of marbles was a large undertaking, and if a greenhorn ran into a shark ami lost them the first day, there wss more weeping than when tho farm boy lost the homestead in a set-up poker game. So the school had a rule for the younger grades that out- laivcd playing for "keeps." This law was pretty hard to enforce, and most kids ignored it, un- less they changed their minds when they saw they were los- ing. No thought of playing for anything but "keeps" was dono after grade two, and older boys took thnir losses and winnings just Hkc any gambler. A few consistent winners used their daily increase as slingshot am- munition, as they were sure of replenishing, the supply next day. But there was no more despondent looking kid In the whole world, than the one that lost his new sack of marbles playing for "keeps" Uie tirsl day out, the giinic started by two or as many as five or six boys agreeing, after considerable argument about rules, to play till any or all decided they had enough. A quick winner had a hard time quilling the game till the ottiers had a chance fo get their marbles back, just like any other gambling game. Each put one or more dubbs inside a ring scratched in the dirt, and backed away eight to ten feet to a mark en lied law, fl starting point, the game, was on. It lasted lil! the school bell rang, it got too dark to see for accurate shooting, or one boy had all (he marbles. Lifa or fleath duties at home some- times broke a game np early, but these chores only made it to the of a boy's mind if tlircal.s by parents were very severe. Something like, "if you're not Ixnnc by four to dig that garden, you won't get out a gain for I wo weeks.'' And quite offcn he even forgot a ter- rible ultimatum such as that, and kept on with a game (ill far too late, then took off in a hurry hoping to beat the line. Several ways of trying to win marbles were tried besides the conventional game, including peep-shows, d rop boxes, and guessing games. Peep-shows were innde with shoeboxes or sometliing similar, with pic- tures cut from comic papers pasted inside. All the dubbs Uie traffic could stand was charged for a look, and numerous quar- rels started when a kid had already seen the same comics at home. A few kids did a thriv- ing business if they got hold of an older brother's Police Ga- zette. Drop-boxes were made from cigar boxes with a hole cut in the lid, and a smart kid did pretty good by picking out Lho right box to try Ills luck. If the owner of the wasn't on- to (he proper manufacturing techniques he could play him- self quickly into bankruptcy. A hole cut too small, or a too deep, wouldn't let a dropped dubb bounce out again, and only those staying in. wop any profit. A box built right won for the owner, and if wrong won for the kid spoiling it. An unskilled builder's busi- ness didn't last long, and often he never found out why. Guessing games came in s wide variety, but mostly play- ed with three marbles, nnd to win you had to guess the total held hidden in the outstretched hands of ell players in the game. Now they call it "bush- ing." We only played it if the ground was far too muddy, or our shooting thumb too sore to shoot for a day or so. Some kids seemed to have better fin- gers for cm-ling around a shoot- er than others, and could hole! a glassy or steely between thumb-knuckle and forefinger in stieh a way, that they could drive it toward a dubb as from a slingshot. vSo they were al- ways champions, and never had to go home crying because they'd lost all their marbles. If you never played marbles your education IKLS been neglected. In modern school yards they the game different than I saw it played. One kid sits on Ihe dry cement patio or sidewalk with a "boulder11 in front of him, and his oppo- nents try lo hit it with one of theirs. EJouldcis nr Ixnvlers aro just oversized glass marbles. The instigator of the puno seems lo ire (he one willing to chance being tire sitter, and he stays with it till he wins or loses everything. And girts aro getting into the game too, they arc no longer satisfied with just playing hopscotch, Only wild tomboy type girls played when Regional perspective ".Souliicrn Alhcrla: A Kc- Perspective by Dr. Jflukunis (University. nf f.off'.bridge, softback. 13o outgrowth of a popular series of lectures given during a University of Lelh- bridge Continuing Education program, this hook will be read with interest and apprecia- tion by residents of southern Alberta. Not even Hie most knowledgeable long-time res- idents of the area will in possession of all the informa- tion to be found in it. By far the most of the nine chapters is Ilir brief history prepared by Professor W. J, Cousin.s. [fo rnanngcd to pack a wealth of information into bis survey while still get- Ling off a few humorous Newcomers to southern Al- borta may read Professor R. J. Fletcher's account of the cli- mate of (he region with skepti- cism in the fare of (he win- I e r v, c h a ve li ad. His cl n I a lead one lo expect sou- thing heller llian IMS been ca.sc. Dr. E. K Miller, in liis chapter on agriculture, reports thai Lhcre another winter like (his ona in when serious losses of cattle oc- curred because ranchers weren't prepared for snow to stay the full length of winter. Useful surveys of the, geol- ogy, the flora and fauna, urban development and the origin of place names are to be found in the hook. A chapter on contem- porary administrative problems breaks the generally historical character of the book as does (.he final one, a literary per- spective and synthesis. Tho fact IhHt. there is UUle, if any. pertinent literature on life m (hose parts may come as a sur- prise and serve as a challenge. I like this little book. I wisli IL had contained a few more maps. A map would have been especially appreciated in con- junction with Dr. E. G. Mar- dnn's fhaplcr on place names- there w c r o some names t hadn't encountered previously, nni.ff, WALKJi.R, I went lo school. Tliey were of- ten whispered about in quiet corners as being bold and for- ward, and grey knce-lcnglh bl oo me rs somct i incs f I a.shed beneath Jong skills. Maybe modern "women's Sib" move- ments are partly responsible, anyway it isn't just a Iwy's game in the schoolyard of to- day. No more circles of yelling boys watelu'ng a close contest of skin and daring in a small ring of marbles, with the play- era intent, on winning, and no amount of outside noise or in- terference could shake tlieir at- tention. And no big bully type ".stompcr" roaming the yard, preying on little kid games with his over-gnyiui feet plastered thick with mud, stealing mar- bles by stomping them into his dirty hoots. No plaster mud available, the yards are all paved. Our parents and teachers, now known as the "Establish- had their troubles with us when we went to school, hut Ihcy didn't have ami drug abuse to contend with. Maybe if jnodcm students had to find their own recreation with less outside help, some present day difficulties would fado away. But progress doesn't stop even for a marble game, so T sup- pose we will never again hear the wild wa i1 n i n g cry o f "fan no dubbs." Beauty survives the snow Book Reviews Survey of North American Indians "N'orth American Indians In Historical Perspective" ed- ited by Eleanor Burke Lea- cock anil Nancy Desire ich J.m'ie (Hamloin House, S1G.75, 49S AN EXHAUSTIVE treatment oC North American Indians Is probably impossible to pro- duce so Ihis quite heijsive survey will have to do. The extensive bibliographies provided at the end of each contribution suggests the wealth of information now and the hopelessness of trying to do justice to it in a single volume. Although I recognize the limi- tations imposed on the various authors, I was nonetheless dis- appointed that in the discus- sion of the plains Indians there was nothing about the Canadian representatives. It is difficult not to suspect tha! a typical U.S. bias prevented Gene fisii from at least mentioning the names of some of the tribes and their famous leaders of Ihe border. Failure (o refer to the Indians of the Canadian plains leaves a big gap in nn olhenvise fairly complete review of Indians of Norlli America providing Mexico is ruled out, as belong- ing to Central America, Follow- ing iji'i'Oiliiction and a gen- eral of Indians there arc chapters on the coa s ta 1 Algonkian.s; the Seminole of Florida; the frorjuois of tho caslem interior; the Chippewa of (he upper Gi-al the pi a in s Tr.d i a ns; t he fndi a ns of the southwest; the Ute a n d Faititc Indians of the (f r e a t B asm srnM hern ri m; t he Ca I i- forma Indians; the Tlingit In- dians of the Pacific northwest; the limiting Indians of Subarc- tic Canada; the liskimos; and a rom'lwlirtf! essay on tlie con- temporary American Indian scriiP- Canadians will fiml Hwl tlifl (erni 'American' for once is nol, limited to the United States. In the final essay, for instance, the preponderant emphasis is on the Indians in tho U.S. but a genuine effort is made to in- cludes tho Canadian scene and I la rold C'ardin a 1 a person will) whom we are all ac- 'j'liinled is mentioned or Uiree times. Three of the contributors in this book have positions in Canada (which does not necessarily mean they are Much more significant is the fact that two of the essayists are Indians. Edxvard P. Dozier was (he died the book was in prepara- tion) professor of anthropology at (he University of Arizona and a Pueblo Indian from New Mexico; D'Arcy McNickle, pro- fessor of anthropology n t the University of Saskatchewan, is a member of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai tribes of Montana. There is as much sociology as history in this book. The title suggests that an attempt, was made to look at the contempor- ary situation of Indians in the perspective of their history. It is interesting to note that de- spile cert ain accommod a t ions to Ihe white man's culture there is a genuine survival of Inclianness everywhere. An out- standing instance of this is tha way the native religion has per- sisted in spite of an overlay of Christianity. I was struck by the absence of discussion of the genocklal policy pursued hy settlers in tho United States toward the fndi- ans. There are brief references to it. of cour.se, hut Ihe sense of outrage this should normally arouse is not given expression. The omission of references tc the plains Indians in Canada is most serious in ihis connection since the policy of the Cana- dian goveniineiit in provi din g the Indians with police protec- tion stands in such stark con- irast to what happened across the border. Interesting parallels between the problems and prospects Iiidk-js in Canada and the U.S. today are made by Nancy Oes- trcich Lurie in the final essay. Some Canadians may bo sur- prised by Ihe statement that Indians in Canada have experi- enced much more real racial prejudice than U.S. Indians. They may also be surprised to learn thr.t Canadian Indians have taken to the idea of Red Power more than their U.S. brothers. A problem peculiar lo Canada is thfil of Ihe place of (he Metis within society in general and Indian .society in particular. It would be a pity if tin's book was read only by students of anthropology. There is much in it, especially in the final chapter, tbnt should he exam- ined and debated by those In- dians who are ?eriously engag- ed in the discussion of the re- lationship of Indians to Cana- dian socieh. DOLG WAl-KKPv America, the ogre? "Ilrokcn Triage, Foreign of America" cdilrd by Gerald Em anno) Stcarn (itandnm House, 20S pages.) rPHft toiler! States takes an- other literary kick in tho panLs in Ihis collection of es- says cover (he period from Tlir virus of the. authors, from the early pernxi, are somewhat unfair although they are probably accurate. Several English writers, in- cluding Charles Dickens, lake America to task for condoning hl.irk slavery. Oilier aspects of American life were also sub- jected to harsh criticism hy for- eign authors who apparently ig- nored the fact that the same things were criticizing America for taking place in their oun countries, A Russian author describes America as "a machine, a cold, unseen, unreasoning machino in which man is hut an insigni- ficant, screw." This sound strikingly simitar to v-liat life is like in the Soviet Uninn- the true nlun nf Ihe hook is that il arouses Uia reader's indignation thaf Amer- ica is made out to he the ogra of the world. After Drinking about M, (lio reader suddenly discovers lhat Ihe problems of America Him were Ihe problems of the world as I hey are now. RON CALDWKLL. Focus on the University By MICHAEL SUTHERLAND A S the result of statements made pub- licly during [he past by Pres- ident Bockel and by this writer, all In the context of informing n very interested iic about the university's budget situation for the 1972-73 fiscal year, a good (leal of comment and concern seems to have been generated. Tho fact that the fiscal period in question begins today brings the matter even closer to home. What it boils down to is this the university has received an operating Inid- RcL of million ior the next velr, an amount identical to the sum allocated by the universities commission for the I97V-72 fiscal term, which ended yesterday. How- ever the occupancy ot the physical educa- tion and art complex in June combined wilti normal increases in expenditures pro- duces a budgetary short-fall of about 000. The university is convinced it has been dealt with fairly hy the universities com- mission, concerning the amount of money allocated to all four universities hy the gov- ernment. Vet. it is quite conceivable that the qual- ity of educational programs offered at The University of Lethbridge coutd be adverse- ly affected hy (his extremely light budget situation. The existing paradox is of course that any economies undertaken in the way of reducing staff and therefore reduc- ing course offerings Mill make the uni- versity a less attractive place and could ultimately lead (o reduced enrolment, On the other band, and I make this point most emphatically, tho fact that the uni- vorsity experienced a slight increase in full- time enrolment this semester along with an extremely large increase in part-time students, can certainly he considered a good sign pointing to the positive general acceptance of University of Lethbridge pro- grams. There seems to be valid opinion that re- leases such as the ones in question and for that matter this column provide too much negative comment about the institu- tion and could serve in a detcrent manner. Not so! Universities everywhere are expe- riencing difficulties with enrolment and considering the points made here previous- ly about enrolments, the university seems lo be weathering the current situation very well. In the past five years the university had advocated a pubb'c information pro- gram of nearly extreme exposure of Its internal and external workings. While such activity has on occasion provided some em- barrassment it has very definitely pro- duced a public that is more aware of and more interested in "its university" than are tlie people from most other Canadian uni- versity cities. I know Ihu from contact with people in similar positions at univer- sities across this country. Certainly there are a lot of people who don't really care, but as a relative percentage of tho pop- ulace, the intere.st university-wise in this area has been amazing. To wax his- torically for a fcv.r phrases one needs only (o realize the many extraordinary kinds of involvement which the people of Leth- bridge and southern Alberta have chosen to show their support for The University of Lethbridge the Three Alberta Universi- ties Fund, tl'O Ixiard of governors, the sen- ate, the alumni association, the One Prairie Province conference ami official opening 72 commiltees. etc. it is in fact, s bit risky lo itemizing the many good things, hut cine can hardly avoid the fact that in 1908 and 1OT9 some very enterpris- ing locals calling themselves the Friends of the Univer.sily collected in excess of for scholarships for the university. And so it is in this context of a lot of people knowing a lot about this institution that a great many individuals take a fair amount of prirlc in what happens and believe me we get the phone calls and similarly it is our inlcrpreta- (ion that these people uho care must be supplied with accurate information nlwut the nol-so-desirablc things too, liku budget troubles. The university will depend on the con- tinuing support of the people of this ares if it is to be able to continue to offer the kinds of excellent academic programs it has talked about in Ihe past years. It is folly to deny Ibe fact that there are cur- railly more than people tn tha uni- versity's full-lime, part-time and public ser- vice programs, on campus and in 13 towns throughout soulhoru Alberta. Certainly wide publicity continually received by tha actual physical plant of Ibis campus and its architect is to our advantage. However, and of much more importance, is acknowl- edgement of (he academic attainment of our students and faculty and the accept- ance of this contribution hy the commu- nity, the academic world and the people responsible for the support of this new in- stitution. Adjustments are being made lo programs to attempt lo offer as much as possible lo as many as possible. I say as many as possible because there always seems to be the problem with the definition of Ihe role of the university and the statement that il doesn't provide just what 'everybody wanls' this is of coursa impossible as there are other community agencies such as Ihe Lethbridge Commu- nity College, the Cily of Lethbridge and so on, wlu'ch provide many kinds of com- modities, more acceptable and more ap- propriate, to certain people. There Is how- ever a very large groups of people Inter- ested in the university and the above ref- erences arc but a few of (ha pieces of evidence. The Voice Of One -By DR. FRANK S. MORLEY The springtime of ike soul the Christians buried their dead in the early Church they used to say, "Eternal spring lias conic to another life." But one need not until death lo enter upon this eternal springtime for it is the possession of anyone who wishes it now. The very word Easter comes from Ihe old English spring goddess "Eostre." The gospel of Easier is contained in the words, "I am Ihe resurrection and the life: lie that helicvcih m me, though he v.crc dead, yet he live: and whosoever jiveth, and bclieveth in me, shall never die." Easier is the time when we wear neur clothes which are symbolic of the gospel, "1 make all things new." Easter is Ihe lime o{ a now life, of new dimen- sions to life, of a new meaning to life, and of a new hope for life. This trull) of springtime is expressed hy everyone who was converted (o the Chris- tian faith. C. S. Lewis slates Ihe fact in the title of his autobiography "Surprised by ,loy.'! Tertullian slates it in a different way when he says that Christ has changed all our sunsets into sunrises. Macneile DLxon slates the same trulli in another way when lie says that immortality is an escape from Flatlands and that the man without hope in a future life has no hope in this life and cannot live victoriously in this life, f'ailh in eternal life is the victory in this life and the life to come. When Augustine was a pagan and unconverted lo Christianity he lost a friend and groaned desperately, "I could not see how Ihe sun could shine when half of my soul lay dead." After his conversion he exclaimed exultantly that in the eternal life there "We shall rest and we shall sec: we shall sea and we shall love: we shall love and we shall praise: hchold what shall he in Ihe end and shall not Some people hold that a future life is im- believable. It is life il.self that is the un- believable, the great mystery of the cre- ation of human life and Ihe utterly fan- taslic technique of birth. Some people ihink the resurrection of Jesus is miraculous but actually it is His arrival w.l no! His sui'- vival dial is miraculous. Thf. Easier flory Is not one of bunnies end birds, of pretty flowers and the awakening growth of soil, but a whole philosophy of life, destiny of the human race, and the des- tiny of the individual soul. Without Easter one says "It's all nothing. It's a world where bugs and cmpcmrs go back to ths same dust." All you have at Ihe end is t frozen planet and a burned out sun. Cos- mos ends in chaos and nothing except dertth. But with i'Ja.stcr il means that "What is excellent as God is per- manent." 11 means, as Browning says, "On earth the broken arc, in heaven the per- fect round. All we have hoped or dream- ed of good shall Easier proclaims the power of goodness lo be unconquerable. That is why Paul said in his grcal 15th Chapter of 1st Corinthians that men slimild no! he worried about Ihe struggle of life but to be "steadfast, im- movable, for as much as you know that your labor is not in vain." On the other hand Kenan warned, "The day in which belief in an after life shall vanish from the earth will wilness a terrific moral and spiritual decadence. There is no lever ca- pahfc of raising an entire people if oncfl they have lost faith in immortaTity of tha soul." Nor is llierc any lever capable of lifting a life once ii loses faith i n eternity. No man can live strongly and no people without failh in etemai life. War- wick Deeping toll! about an army officer who, whenever he was faced with a moral crisis, would say, "Christ is Vic- torious living depends upon the Easier Gospel. There is a great deal of nonsense talk- ed about progress, of mankind's march up- ward nnd onwards, of science and culture. This notion of progress is utterly impas- sible to prove. Tho. only hope that man has for himself or his rare Is found in immortality and once failh in immortality is lost then the reasonableness and jus- tice of I fie are destroyed and A man's life is of no more value than UiaB of an animal. The springtime of Ihr. soul ,'onics ynn thai sou ?ri an'] Ihr.1. lifn lur, rfrrnal dirncn- ;