On Losing One’s Marbles
Tonight I am reading the official magazine of my home state “Wonderful West Virginia” . One of the articles in it has to do with the factories that produced, or once produced, marbles. Young people of today will wonder what a “marble” is. Those of my generation will fondly recall it.
I was of course as captivated as any young male (the pursuit of marbles as I recall was a largely male occupation) of my generation by the recent piece on marbles appearing in “Wonderful West Virginia.” I note the mention of Master Glass in Bridgeport near the Benedum Center until 1947, but must protest.
I called Bridgeport home 1964-1970, and I walked by “The World’s Largest Glass Marble Factory” (as claimed on highway signs at the time) on my way to BJHS (Bridgeport Junior High School, to those of us who attended in ’62-3). Piles of cullet glass attested to its operational status. It was only after working at Continental Can Corp. in Clarksburg after my graduation from BHS 1968 that I even knew the meaning of the word “cullet.”
From my archives of a few years earlier, I recall the pink-and-white striped marble bag sewn by my mother, filled with cats-eyes and aggies and the deadly, all-important steelies. It was never full to overflowing, I was not a master of the art. But I venture to say that playing marbles with our friends was a thousand times more “social” than any social medium today.