Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Early gamblers, You bet, I betcha

Historical Photo:
Historic Uptown Theater in San Antonio

When I say RUN!

Sometimes I look back at kids traditions and smile. "Out-of-town-you!" was a game played in my youth.

PICTURE sitting outside the ‘Rathole’ in Valdese with Redeye, Stump and Jim; or outside ‘Crip Goodson’s Shack’ with Woodsy, Newt and Kenneth everyone holding a cold nickel Pepsi or RC, everyone  looks at the bottom of the bottle to see what town it is from and someone would say, “I can out-of-town ya!”

Every ‘pop’ bottle had the city name embossed in the glass where it had been made. ALL soft drink bottles were washed and reused.  Someone passing thru Atlanta might buy an RC and pay the 2 cent deposit and take the bottle. Then throw it out the window somewhere in another state or trade it in for the next RC.

Many of us boys made spending money going along the roads to pick up bottles and sale them at the local store for 1 or 2 cents each. Every store bought them dirty did not matter. Most bottles around our area had Charlotte, NC embossed on the bottom.

 Long before some boys learned the ‘poker face’ someone’s eyes would light up and he would yell, “Bet I can out-of-town you!”  No money usually changed hands. BUT there were a few times when the experienced 14 year old would look and his bottle and see Richmond or Atlanta and say, “I bet a nickel I can out-of-town you!.”

 Many times the term bet involved no money, it involved only personal pride. Just to prove you could do something.
Some of the first gambling most of us ever did was as kids. 

 Such as: I betcha I can jump that ditch!
Betcha can’t climb that tree.
Betcha won’t tell your mama that!
I can jump higher than Donald Beale!  Don’t bet on it!

Many times I am a ‘nice’ smart Alec. If I can tell by their demeanor that they are fun folk, I will walk up beside an OLD man or woman in a walker and say, “Okay, now when I say run!” ….. 
I always get a laugh or smile. Or some cute retort such as:

 “Go on ahead, I’ll catch up! …. Where were you last week when I had my running shoes on?  …. Boy, was that a long time ago! …. or just the shake of a head and ‘I wish!’. One old witty lady said, ‘Okay, hold my walker!’ (As in: hold my beer and watch this!)

So.... last Sunday morning I sat down beside my girlfriend Joyce Summey in church. (Joyce is probably in her early 90s.) I always get a hug. She had a wonderful husband, and HE had the BEST wife.  They were friends of my mom and dad. She requires a walker now. I asked, “Been in any foot races lately?”
Without taking a second her wit took over and she smiled, “Only with snails.” She made my day!

Nite Shipslog
Taken from Millican's Pictorial Museum  photos.
 That is Dad and Floyd Summey on the back of Theodore Woods flatbed. That year dad gave a pony and bicycle away at a church drawing. The Sunday crowd broke all records in attendance and blocked the street during service.


Lisa said...

This was a fun read! It made me giggle. I had to read it aloud to Nick across the table.
I use to “betcha” all the time. I still will bet Nick on things I think will be said by others.
I never heard of the “out of town game you” game. When I first read the title, I thought in my mind that you really took it serious. Haha. (Ill let you think about that a while).

I bet you will have a wonderful day today.

Woody said...

Good Post, brought back memories of walking the roads with my older brothers for the 3 cent deposit on Soda Bottles for spending money, then when older working on the farm for spending money, I remember I worked all day for Gramp Wood on the Farm, I cleaned the stables, shoveled manure and curry combed the horses, cleaned out their Frogs and then went up to the House and he paid me $ 25 cents which was glad to get, the movie was 10 cents, and popcorn and soda was 15 cents !!! Take care down there, cooling down up here, down to 49 last night and great sleeping !

betty said...

Love Joyce's answer. I bet she was feisty in her "youth" and still feisty now!

We all do bet, don't we? Even if no money is involved, but we do like that competitive spirit we have.


Mevely317 said...

Ah, you tease! I was delighted, chuckling aloud, at some of those responses!

One of my best 'little girl' memories was dumpster diving with my friends for empty soda bottles. We'd gather them together in our wagons and redeem for pennies, yes. I never realized the bottles' bottoms contained city names!

Dar said...

I have a few pop bottles and now I have to look at their bottoms again. I know one is from Marshfield, WI, not sure if the others had names. I loved this. The nicknames of some of your buddies sound fictional but I KNOW they are not. :) We didn't get pop often, rarely in fact but I sure loved one when I was a teenager at a school dance. I also recall a truth about my sister Cher dropping a tooth in the bottom of a bottle when her elbow got hit by another girl as she turned of those school dances too. Kids today wouldn't believe how grateful we were for a few pennies or a nickel.
Life was simpler then.
loven'hugs from up north, like Woody said, cooler and great sleeping.


neat game you played with the soda bottles. joyces response had me smiling.