For close to half a century I have done my bit in American figure skating circles to emphasize Haines's lasting importance as the American skating king. With him the renascence of skating started.
Figure skating is the only sport without age limit. I am 76, but skate three or four times a week and can give a quite respectable performance—of course, minus Double Axels and Haines Spins (see cut). The past winter was the 68th of my skating seasons.
SECRET WEAPON: EARLY MODEL
Color in the Dust (SI, June 20) brought back memories of my own favorite aggies and moonies and those things so long forgotten. I spent an hour just looking at the illustration. But where was that secret weapon every "dirty operator" had in his marble bag-the STEELIE?
THANKS FOR THE MEMORY
Have just read Color in the Dust and, as an old marble player (circa 1909-1914), I was much interested—some might call it nostalgically so.
We had shooters then that took some time to get established. Most of our fathers worked in machine shops and brought home worn-out ball bearings (steel) which would knock the miggles galley-west.
Your illustration has the shooter knuckling down. That way he puts a backspin on his aggie, though we didn't know it as such. We just knew it kept you in the ring and from there on all was yours for "keeps." If anyone else's aggie was in the ring, it was yours too, and he was done for.
I forget what they called shooting from the end of the thumb but it seems to have had a sissy connotation. Would ball bearings be admitted in competition today?
Thanks for recollections of a lot of fun on the mile or two between school and home.
?Shooting from the end of the thumb was called "cunnythumb." The method did have a "sissy connotation" once, but is now used by the experts because it allows better control. Steelies have never been allowed in tournament play; in fact some rule books state that marbles may be made of "any substance except metal."—ED.
I enjoyed your article on marbles and offer the following: