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Clarence Dibble and Berry Pink's 1940 Marble King Tournament

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These tournament stories are snapshots of history.  Often with so much extra information which you wouldn't have imagined before reading the articles.  And this story is extra special.  The young champion, Clarence "Sonny" Dibble, is the uncle of our new member @Bob Wuehrmann who sent us the clippings. 

From the Charleston, South Carolina News and Courier archives.  


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On 2/11/2020 at 10:05 AM, bumblebee said:

Considering the amount of coverage, it reminds me just how big of a deal marbles was culturally in America for so long.

Marble playing has long since lost its place in our culture. 

Other than generating nostalgia, what detrimental effects can be confirmed due to this loss? (speculation aside)

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3 hours ago, hdesousa said:

Marble playing has long since lost its place in our culture. 

Other than generating nostalgia, what detrimental effects can be confirmed due to this loss? (speculation aside)

Good thought... playing marbles helped me lean several life lessons. It taught to play fair, how it feels to gamble and lose, how to hedge your bets, social skills, dealing with loss, accepting that there is always someone else better than you, and that some folks are willing to cheat and how to deal with it. Probably more.

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Couple of negative effects are less imagination and creativity. Some other modern elements may have replaced these effects though.

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A game of marbles sure needed a lot less expensive equipment than most of the games I hear about these days.  Could become a champion with very few resources.  

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From what I remember playing marbles, the thrill was based in the scarcity of good marbles and the fair chance to win or lose them.

There was some sort of important lesson in loving a small beautiful thing that you won while at the same time knowing you could lose it some day. Perhaps knowing that you could win it back, or even win a better one the next day, made letting go of it that much easier.

There was also that mystery of the older marbles that some kids had. They had better colors and patterns, but usually scars. They were like stories and characters from the past who were playing among us.

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On 2/12/2020 at 9:37 PM, cheese said:

Good thought... playing marbles helped me lean several life lessons. It taught to play fair, how it feels to gamble and lose, how to hedge your bets, social skills, dealing with loss, accepting that there is always someone else better than you, and that some folks are willing to cheat and how to deal with it. Probably more.

Well said!

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