Radium Springs Roulette

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“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. 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.


      • 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…

        Liked by 1 person

      • ๐Ÿ™‚ Well, as long as it is clear, I’m happy. ๐Ÿ™‚ 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 … ๐Ÿ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

    • ๐Ÿ™‚ 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!!) ๐Ÿ™‚
      Glad you like it!
      xoxo Na’ama in the NYC arctic …


  2. 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.

    Liked by 1 person

    • 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. ๐Ÿ™‚
      I’m glad you liked it! ๐Ÿ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

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