The Mountain Laurel
The Journal of Mountain Life

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from the
Heart of the Blue Ridge

Growing Up On Tuggles Creek - The Marble Yard

By YKW © 1984

Issue: August, 1984

On Cain Hylton's place just where Tuggles Creek makes an abrupt turn from East to South, there used to be a marble yard which was the sports arena for the Tuggles Creek crowd. The heavy rains had washed along a path through the woods and deposited lots of fine soil on the more level ground near the creek. Cain had noted this and every Saturday afternoon he would sweep it off carefully with a brush broom until it was as smooth and level as a floor.

On Sunday afternoon, the crowd would gather, most of them bringing his own favorite taw marble. Only Cain owned the head men marbles, which he carefully placed in a marked off triangle. All hands then lined up at taw which was the natural bank of the alluvial deposit and took turns shooting at the head men. If they missed, they shot from where they landed.

This went on until all the head men were knocked out and the score was then tallied - so many points for each head man hit.

One Sunday morning Clendon Reynolds and I decided to try our luck at the game before the crowds gathered. We were busily playing away when Amos Midkiff happened by. He proceeded to give us a lecture on the sins of playing marbles on Sunday and wound up by saying, "Don't you know the Bible says, 'Marble not?'" (The quotation is really, "Marvel not.")