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Bill Leslie's Carolina Conversations

Childhood card games

Posted February 10, 2009 9:33 a.m. EST

What was your favorite childhood card game? I posed that question to WRAL Morning News co-anchor Kelcey Carlson today. Her answer surprised me: Euchre! I had never heard of the game. Euchre (pronounced YOO-ker) is a trick-taking card game with similarities to bridge but only 25 cards are used. I have read that euchre is regionally popular in the Midwest including Indiana where Kelcey grew up. Euchre also has a strong following in the United Kingdom, parts of Canada and New Zealand.

As a Southern lad the first card games I remember playing were Go Fishing and Old Maid. I soon graduated to Crazy Eights, Gin and Gin Rummy. While on summer vacation at Brown Mountain Beach my Uncle Phil taught me to play various games of poker and Setback.

I also made up my own card games for baseball and kept statistics. I wish I could remember the rules. They were fairly loose because my personal batting average one summer was .432 and even Willie Mays, my hero, couldn’t match that.

My parents were both excellent bridge players but I never really got into their game. I loved it when my mother hosted afternoon bridge parties. It always meant a great dessert when I came home from school.

What were your favorite card games as a child? Please share your thoughts and memories.