Tue 10 Aug 2010
During a neighborhood stroll some years back Susan and I chanced upon a pile of discards that included an old backgammon case that we brought home whose well-worn board told of countless games played upon it.
Since it has sat pieceless atop the piano as a place to stand a vase or put a book. Then out of nowhere I decided it was high time to repopulate it with its movable parts to make it playable again. At first I wanted to do a slow search gathering an eclectic array of round and flat items, but when I realized that was going to take a lot of work so instead I went to a backgammon resource in the internest and ordered me up some basic wooden pieces, dice cup and dice.
It’s a game I learned when I was not more than 9 or 10, and I can actually remember where. It was at a burger joint on the west side of La Cienega Boulevard south of Wilshire near where mom and I lived and it seemed they always had a backgammon board set up at a table outside with someone usually available and willing to teach you how to play. One day while waiting for our order I was watching a game in progress and my mom asked me if I wanted to learn. I shrugged off a “sure.” Next thing I know when the game being played had ended, I was invited up and taught the basics and fell in love with it. I don’t know if it was my next birthday or Christmas, but one of my gifts was a self-contained case similar to this one, except it had pockets to hold the pieces and die.
I haven’t seen that case since I moved from Encino in 2001 and I’m hoping it’s in a box somewhere in the basement, since I don’t want to imagine throwing such a cherished item out.
It’s been at least 12, maybe 15 years since I last played so I’m not entirely confident I have the pieces pictured above in the proper starting order, but I expect one theoretical rainy day I’ll double check so that Susan and I can sit on opposite sides of it and get our gammon on.