My former spouse and I were in 1st-, 4th-, and 5th-grade classes together. In the 5th grade, she won the spelling bee; I won the coveted marble championship. Marbles is such a cerebral sport, requiring the marbler to mentally calculate distances, directions, angles and carom trajectories. It is a strenuous, manly sport, too--crouching in the dirt in the outdoors, at that distant time under scraping-cloud oaks at the Central City [Kentucky] Grade School, in the 1950s, beneath azure Sputnik skies.
Secretively, I was a big reader and would have loved to have won the spelling bee. But, at that time my concept of scholar-athlete was still inchoate. Later, I began to imagine myself to be both--now with a dedicated exercise regimen, caroming marble-thoughts, and orthographically correct written words.
But, wish I could return for a while to the simple times of dirt-crawling, marble-playing, sky-watching boyhood innocence. I would try real, real hard to look around and notice and remember...and remember...oak-scraped skies.