Poker Face

One of the constants when I was growing up was that my dad liked to drink and have a good time. I’m not condemning him in any way. Those are just the facts. He also had a group of friends that he liked playing cards with. For a while there it seemed like he was gone all weekend almost every weekend playing cards at one friend’s house or another. 

Daddy in his younger wilder days.

 

Our mother got married very young and although I think she knew and knows our father loved her very much she also had a jealous streak a mile wide as evidenced by my sister’s post here. For a while there, my dad had his friends come to our house to play poker. I think this was our mother’s attempt to “keep him at home”. 

Playing Poker in the Living Room

 

This would make for some very interesting weekends and stories to say the least. It seemed once these guys got started playing nothing pretty much stopped them and they could go pretty much for the whole weekend. They would occasionally move to the living room to allow my mother access to the kitchen so she could cook them a meal and they would eat and go right back to playing. 

We lived in a trailer. The land was not level so one side, the side where my parent’s bedroom was sat on the ground but the opposite side, where my bedroom was sat a good 5 feet off the ground and you could pretty much walk underneath that end. In fact, I remember several times some of my dad’s friends standing out there drunk as skunks laughing and singing “Peggy Sue” to the top of their lungs outside my window. Some of these friends actually lived several hours away at the beach and would just come in for the weekends. 

Playing Poker in the kitchen

 

The back door was halfway down the hall between the kitchen and my bedroom and was a good three to four feet off the ground and when we first moved there we hadn’t put any steps up yet so if they got drunk, which they generally did, and forgot, they were in for quite a shock when they decided to “step outside and take care of business” as they were wont to do. I can remember many a night hearing (from the safe confines of my bedroom) one or more of my dad’s friends yelling (after I heard the heavy thud of their drunken body hitting the ground) “G D Pete! When are you gonna put some steps out here?” And my dad roaring with laughter in answer to them. I think he rather enjoyed watching them limp back to the table brushing the dirt off their pants. Maybe he thought it threw them off their game and gave him an advantage? 

I do remember if there was something I wanted to do coming up, I would always wait until his “poker parties” to ask him (after he was pretty drunk) because I had a much more likelihood of him saying yes then. Not sure if it was because he was drunk or just trying to get rid of me but either way, it worked for me! 

I remember he would usually wear a hat of some kind when he was playing to shield his eyes so that they couldn’t “read his face”. I have some pictures of times he took it one step further and not only had on the hat but he’d let me and my little sister “dress him up”… again, I don’t know if it was all the beer and shine or if it was just so we’d be happy and then leave them alone. I also seem to remember my brothers coming home lots of times to play with them. 

Daddy - after Suzi and I got through with him. My oldest brother in the background.

 

There was a bar between the kitchen and living room and that’s where they guys put their beers, cigarettes, etc. to keep the “playing surface” clean pretty much. There is one particular night that stands out in my memory. My brothers had come home to play and my oldest brother did not smoke but he did chew tobacco. I remember my dad used to always fuss at him about it being such a nasty and disgusting habit. 

Not sure what was in the "bag" but I know he wasn't feeling any pain!I think that is Suzi in the background.

 

I think partially to keep my dad from fussing he would spit his gross tobacco “juice” into an empty beer bottle. I mean it was dark brown so you couldn’t see it inside it, right? Yeah, I think you see where I’m going with this. Sometime during the course of the evening my brother set his “spit bottle” on the bar, you got it, right beside my dad’s beer. My dad grabbed the bottle and turned it up and swigged about half of it down before he realized what he’d done. He got the funniest look on his face, cursed at my brother that he was gonna kill him as soon as he got back and ran out the front door to throw up. My brother ran out the back door even though he knew the step wasn’t there because he was scared my dad really would do it and my dad’s friends sat there around the table having a great laugh at both their expenses. 

And as terrible or gross as that may sound, I was actually jealous. Jealous because my brother got to join in the “fun” and I was never allowed because I was a girl. I think I would have chanced the beating just to be “accepted” into their inner sanctum. To be considered “one of the boys”. Maybe that was why I loved riding motorcycles? But that is for another post. In the meantime… enjoy this Poker Face. 

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About pegbur7

South of the Mason/Dixon Line
This entry was posted in Just Life, Tales from my youth, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

18 Responses to Poker Face

  1. suzicate says:

    Love the pics. I can’t ever remember Daddy being slim, it’s been as if he’s always had that belly of his…wow, I wonder when he really got it. I have such a horrible memory sometimes. That’s funny about Daddy swigging it. I remember when G sigged it himself and got sick, too funny. I swear I can’t get over Daddy not having a belly hanging over his belt while he was sitting down! Lots a memories dredged up with this post but I won’t go there…I’ll stick with the funny make over (hat, glasses, and looks like earrings), he must’ve been loaded to let us do that to him and take pics to boot! I used to think it was fun to jump out the back door (before the steps) unless it was muddy and I ended up busting my butt!

    • pegbur7 says:

      I think I busted mine quite a few times myself doing that! Yes, that was earrings. You know he would let YOU do whatever you wanted. I believe that is you behind him in one of the pics.

      I think he gained a lot of that after he quit smoking.

  2. Jimmy says:

    You brought back some memories from my past also here Peg, it sounds just like the weekends at our house for a while with stepdad and his buddies.

    The pictures are neat and it is funny that your Dad allowed you girls to dress him up, yes I think I saw ear rings too :^)

  3. Woah, you and Suzi are sisters?! I’m so out of the loop here, apparently…

    I can understand the jealousy… I mean, at a young age, it seems that whatever our parents or older siblings do is so grown-up and it’s so unfair that we couldn’t join in.

    • pegbur7 says:

      Yes you ARE out of the loop! LOL Suzi is my “baby” sister. I am the next to youngest of six. Suzi is the one that got me started blogging. I get blogged for her about my doctors visits and there was such a positive response that she and her”bloggy friends” convinced me to start my own blog! I’ve been blogging I guess since mid January. My very first blog on here is the one I guest posted for Suzi. It was also my first post. Here it is: https://pegbur7.wordpress.com/2010/01/12/3/ in case you want to check it out.

  4. Gosh Peggy, there was never a dull moment around your house, was there? Great photos of your dad.

    • pegbur7 says:

      No, there really weren’t many! We were entertaining and entertained! I hated it growing up but wouldn’t trade it for anything now. 😉

  5. Alaina says:

    I love the picture of your dad with his hat and sunglasses…that’s hilarious. I can’t imagine he was feeling any pain at all, and you were a clever kid waiting to ask him for stuff when he was done playing. Great pictures!

    • pegbur7 says:

      I actually would ask him WHILE he was playing and already three sheets in the wind and that way he’d say yes just to get rid of me! LOL See how clever I was!?!

  6. My dad was also a poker player. I think he and his “frat brothers” had a poker night once a month. Then he started playing with other cops too. I still have a big jar of change in the house and Alex and I love it when friends are willing to play. We hand out big handfuls of money to everybody and it’s amazing that people are really conservative in their betting even when it’s just a bunch of our change!

    • pegbur7 says:

      I know, it’s hard to let go of old habits. I know I allot myself a certain amount when we go to Vegas but if it was someone else’s money I might be a little looser with it! LOL

  7. terrepruitt says:

    Never could get the hang of poker. I need a book/cheat cheat to remind me what beats what.

    I would imagine that having hubby/daddy at home playing cards was way better than him being out doing it.

    I didn’t even notice the earrings until SuziCate pointed them out.

  8. Jane says:

    This made me remember the card nights my parents used to have and my sister and I, sneaking down the hall to listen and watch. And the pictures? Priceless.

    • pegbur7 says:

      I was looking through an old album the other day and just HAD to use them. They were too cute not to share. I know nowadays guys think nothing of wearing earring but back then it was a WHOLE different story. And did you notice in one picture they were knuckle bumping? I think they must have invented that too! LOL They were doing that way before anyone now!

  9. Hadassah says:

    Such riskayyy video Peg…LOL!

    I lived in a trailer too…and the stories….always stories..

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