Radium Springs Roulette

radium springs ga casino pc

 

“Well then,” Mom exclaimed.

She was going over Poppa’s papers while I boxed seemingly endless books.

I looked up. There was an album in her lap, black pages empty but for an old postcard.

“He denied it when I’d said he’d taken me there,” Mom whispered. “I was young and believed him, but my heart knew all the same.”

I shook my head. Poppa was as straight-laced as they came.

“He gambled,” she explained. “A salesman meant frequent traveling. He used it to hide visits to casinos.”

She fingered the card. “Radium Springs Casino. I knew I hadn’t dreamed this place. The deep blue water wove tightly with the wheel.”

I gazed at the memento. At my mom.

“I was not-yet-four,” she sighed. “Thomas was just born and Dad took me to ‘work’ so Mom could rest. He played the roulette. … Perhaps his keeping of the card was another gamble.”

 

 

For What Pegman Saw: Radium Springs, GA

 

29 thoughts on “Radium Springs Roulette

  1. I cannot lie, my friend. I had to read this a couple of times to know who was talking when… and I’m still not 100% sure at two spots…. And I still enjoyed this!

      • How could I see this as negativity? No worries! Another eye is often a very helpful thing for catching not only copy-edit snafus but blind-spot misses! 🙂 I see it as caring!

      • Oh good!
        Now… that said:
        It changes it completely! Because, I thought Poppa was the husband, and it was the daughter who was taken there, and the mother was wondering about the existence of said postcard… crazy, eh?

      • Just comes to show why dialogue ambiguity is always a good thing to point out! 🙂 I have friends in GA who call their Grandpa “Poppa” (the dad is “Papa”) — which is where the idea for the name came from. But I totally see how the previous ‘incarnation’ would’ve been confusing. THANK YOU for pointing it out!

      • And, honestly, if I had immediately thought Poppa (and stupid me, I have friends who called their grandfather “Poppa”) meant the grandfather, my thoughts would not have been the same.
        Does it make any sense at all that I actually went where I did? Probably not!!

      • I think it does–the ambiguity was there, and it would lead a reader to wonder. So … it was a very good and helpful catch–my thinking is, if the reader didn’t immediately see it as I had intended, then it was I who wasn’t clear enough, not the reader who was mistaken! 🙂

      • So … for Fun’s sake, lemme’ try to take it the other way. … Here goes:

        “Well then,” Mom exclaimed.

        She was going over Poppa’s papers while I boxed seemingly endless books.

        I looked up. There was an album in her lap, black pages empty but for an old postcard. I did a double-take.

        “He denied it when I’d said he’d taken me there,” I whispered. “I was young and believed him, but my heart knew all the same.”

        Mom shook her head. Poppa was as straight-laced as they came.

        “He gambled, Mom,” I pressed. “Used his salesman trips to hide visits to casinos.”

        She fingered the card. “Radium Springs Casino?”

        I knew I hadn’t dreamed this place. The deep blue water wove tightly with the wheel.

        I gazed at the memento. At my mom.

        “I was not-yet-four. Right after Thomas was born. Dad took me to ‘work’ so you could rest. He played the roulette. …” I sighed. “Perhaps his keeping of the card was another gamble.”

  2. So Poppa is Grandpoppa? Keeping the card was indeed a gamble. I’m guessing he must have won enough to account for the lack of a paycheck when he went to “work”. I wonder why he kept the card… Nicely done.

    • Yes! Poppa is the Grandpa … Dale was helpful to point out some ambiguities in the dialogue and I’d edited it some. I think it might be clearer now! Will you take another look and let me know?

      • I think it’s clear, but I’m not sure if I read the original version that Dale was talking about. It was a little tricky–especially since I automatically thought father (not grandfather) when I saw the word Poppa. Ah the hazards of writing for people all over the world…

      • 🙂 Well, as long as it is clear, I’m happy. 🙂 Thank you for commenting! And … yes, there’s always the different ways that a nickname can be understood! I have friends in GA who call their grandpa “Poppa” (and their father “Papa”). I also know some may call their father “Pop” or perhaps “Poppa” so … I guess I did enter that ambiguity into the story … hmm … 🙂

    • 🙂 Thanks my friend! This one needed (and got) a bit of fixin’ post-publishing but it is all better now, following excellent feedback from other readers (you know who you are!!) 🙂
      Glad you like it!
      xoxo Na’ama in the NYC arctic …

  3. Secrets coming out post mortem…my story has a similar theme. “The deep blue water wove tightly with the wheel”. What an interesting way to express how memories interconnect.

  4. What a lot of helpful and constructive comments this piece has generated. I am not sure which version I read but it felt dreamy and the last line was a great place to end. I did some research and found that casino too but this story is better than the half baked one I contemplated. Nice one, Na’ama.

    • Thanks, Kevin! There was some ambiguity in the dialogue that Dale caught and I was glad to hear her let me know about it, so I could edit the ambiguity out. It WAS a very fascinating exchange and a fun one, too, because playing with words is a fun thing to do on any day, let alone a weekend day. 🙂
      I’m glad you liked it! 🙂
      Na’ama

Feedback welcome! Please leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s