Friday, May 05, 2006

Fun in Philadelphia

Last evening we made a dash over to Philadelphia, Mississippi to donate to the Indians' Educational Fund. On the eve of our 32nd anniversary we freshened up in our complementary room and went downstairs. We played slots for a while and this is what I observed: Playing slot machines is an individual activity. People playing slots rarely talk to the folks sitting next to them, though they will often cast a begrudging glance if the other brings the jackpot bells to life. People playing slots rarely smile. That's why it's so much fun to watch Jilda play slot machines. She squeals with delight at the slightest payoffs from the one-armed bandits. People sitting nearby suspiciously squint at her through their cigarette nimbus as if she were a terrorist or perhaps someone making fun of their lineage.
After a while, we found ourselves over at the Roulette tables. This is what I observed about Roulette: It's a social game. People are always laughing and barking at the table meister. When someone hits a spin with chips straight up on the number, there are often high fives all around. Last night we sat at a table with a guy from Huntsville, Alabama and two Hispanic guys from Texas and it was a scream. We laughed and talked for hours. Paul and Ron had driven over from Dallas with their families for a little R&R. Both were American citizens and their take on the immigration boycott was a hoot. We asked about their families and they asked about ours. We cheered their luck at the table and they to ours. At midnight, the entire table wished us a happy anniversary. How many years? Paul asked. When we told him 32, everyone promptly put a bet down on 32. It would have been sweet had it hit, but alas it didn't. Fortunately for Jilda and me, it did hit 5 which we had also played because May 5th is the date of the anniversary. The whole table toasted our luck and our longevity in marriage.
Our years together have been filled with the full spectrum of life from profound sadness to arrant joy. Even when we were broke as the 10 Commandments, we have always managed to see and do extraordinary things.
I've known people whose jobs are their lives. That is not the case with us, instead of living to work, we work to live. And from Philadelphia, Mississippi I have this one observation: Abraham Lincoln said over a hundred years ago that "people are about as happy as they make up their minds to be." Jilda and I made up our minds to be happy on May 5th 1974 and for the most part we have succeeded.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous10:21 PM

    Jilda and Rick,
    Congrats on the 32nd to a real swell couple. Glad some of the numbers worked out for you at "The Wheel".
    Kayren used be proud of our number, 6/6/69, until she found out that was D-Day. I guess that's OK though. We've held the beachhead secure for nye on 37 years.
    We wish the both of you the best in your future.


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