*sniff* Poker RIP

My stepmom had a lunch club that started meeting every Wednesday for lunch. I don’t know how big the group was, around a dozen, I think. They met continuously for 65 years, and likely continued after her death. I always thought that was a neat thing.

Earlier tonight I talked to one of my best friends. I got the word that his grandmother just died (98 years old - think about all that she saw change), so I called to offer solace. His parents are long gone, so he’s the patriarch of the family. I know it’s been a rough week for him - she had a heart attack Sunday, and they’ve been on death watch all week.

July 1991 saw the beginning of what I’d thought would be an institution in my life. We started our monthly poker game at Mike’s (the above mentioned friend). It started with Mike, Fred and myself, but soon grew to a point where we could always muster 4-6 players. Most of the pool have been people we went to junior high school with. It evolved. We got a table with green felt covering, and a nifty old casino lamp. We always used chips and two fresh decks. Hoyle’s ruled. When Mike remarried six years ago, the poker game’s continuation was a prenuptial agreement.

Regs appeared, stayed a few years, and went. Most had some high school, college or other long-standing connection. Probably ~50 people have attended at some point. As with my stepmom’s group, we commisserated through fellows’ divorces, marriages, business follies, etc.

And I got to a similar point with the poker crew to one I’ve reached with this place; sometimes I have a thought or see something and think, “I’ll have to get the TM’s thoughts on this!”

Being at his place, Mike never missed a game. I never did either, until last December when Charlie’s (another of my best friends) Dad died suddenly and I had to go hang with them. There was nothing else to be done.

No game in January. We had the game in February. Fred, who works for Mike, quit coming about a year ago. I called Mike about it in March and he suggested that he and Pauline and I just go out, so we did.

Tonight he told me that he’s just through with it. He has had the burden of being host, and I think there’s some interpersonal tensions with some of the players (the aforementioned Fred and one of the other regs - another high school chum - is his IT consultant). He and I are the only two that have stayed with it the whole time.

I’m considering what it would take to host it, but I also understand some of his frustration. He commented tonight that out of the whole poker group, I was the only one who ever contacted them for any other social activity (not entirely true for the nearly 12 year duration of the game, but I see his point).

So, it’s probably gone toast.

Just some more changes.

I finally, last week, tore down the drum kit in the living room and put the drums in storage.

I’d meant to include that the bit of melancholy this development engenders is an enhancement of the feeling of social isolation it brings. I care not to be a hermit, but as the years pass, we tend to regret losing social outlets.

Hell, besides poker games, I’ve been to more Dopefests than anything else purely social (professional stuff don’t count*) the last four years.

*[sub]I took a perverse pleasure in typing that attack on good grammar.[/sub]

Doesn’t moving on suck? The only thing that helps is trying to imagine doing something even better in the future. Here’s hoping that the next 12 years hold something even better, bud.

Thanks Cisco. I’m aware of your other thread, and I’ll add when I can. Keep truckin’, pal.

Ringo, what about asking some of your cute college neighbors to join in some poker? :slight_smile:

Seriously though, I kind of know where you’re coming from. For about two years I and one or two friends have spurred into being a regular Monday night get together at a local restaurant/pub. We go from 10 'till about midnight. There are three of us who have been regular there on Monday since the beginning; others have come and gone. Some have spurts of regular attendance and then disappear, others come every once in a while. Most of us are high-school/grade school friends, though not all.

Now, I’m only 23, and I know that this will not last forever, but the sense of permanance and tradition is very satisfying and rewarding. I will be sad when this regular event ceases to be.

Why’d you pack up the drums?