Holy Grail # 6–Poker Games & Particle Board

We played a lot poker in college. The games were penny ante because none of us had much money. Dealers choice. Usually 5-card draw or 7-card stud. Occasionally someone would throw in a game of 5-card stud or bankroll a round of blackjack. We usually started right after dinner, consumed lots of beer and continued until well past midnight. Typically everybody won or lost $5-$10. Many poker games took place at the Sigma Nu house.

Normal Street Poker

I lived at 600 E. Normal during my first senior year. I shared this 3 bedroom, 1 bath place house with three roommates. It had all the essentials: dart board, round dining room table perfect for poker games and of course a stereo. One of my roommates was Rick Simpson. He had an awesome stereo. Between us we had two receivers, two turntables, two cassette decks, and four speakers. He had a top-of-the-line Pioneer SX-1250 receiver with JBL speakers.

Because we had no money we constructed a stereo cabinet of cinderblocks and particleboard. The bottom layer consisted of six cinderblocks, two on each end and two in the middle. Two 8″ x 8′ particle boards formed the top. We stored our albums in melon crates.  These fit perfectly in the 36″w x 16″h x 16″d spaces between the cinderblocks.

Layer two held the receiver in a 30″w x 8″h x 16″d slot. Once again, this was constructed with cinderblocks and topped with particleboard. Two cassette decks between three cinderblocks made level three. Finally,  we put my turntable (a direct drive Hitachi model) on top.

Poker Down on the Farm

One of my fraternity brothers, Mike Haldeman lived in a small farmhouse on the outskirts of Springfield. Situated on a few acres, this humble abode was located off Battlefield rd. a few miles east of Glenstone. In sharp contrast to my particleboard and cinderblock furniture, his house was full of antiques.

In addition to being a savvy antiques buyer Haldeman was a skilled poker player. Occasionally we would hunt rabbits during the day and play poker at night.

Mike was a huge Neil Young fan. Every time I hear Neil Young songs I am transformed back to those days.

Decade is a compilation album by Canadian musician Neil Young, originally released in 1977 as a triple album, now available on two compact discs. It contains 35 of Young’s songs recorded between 1966 and 1976, among them five tracks that had been unreleased up to that point. It peaked at No. 43 on the Billboard Top Pop Albums chart, and was certified platinum by the RIAA in 1986.

Coming Soon – Reading The Good Book

More details coming next weekend. You can purchase The Good Book through Amazon by clicking here

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4 Responses to Holy Grail # 6–Poker Games & Particle Board

  1. Mary Hickman says:

    I thought everyone in college had a cinderblock/particle board piece of ‘furniture’ in their apartment/dorm room! And, of course, some sort of milk crate nightstand by their bed!

  2. Beth says:

    Oh how I miss my stereo! I still had it until a few years ago when the speakers gave out and the radio reception became distorted. Sadly, I lost my modest record collection in the divorce so there was no reason to keep the system. Digital music is nice, but there is something comforting about seeing all that equipment sitting on a shelf! Thanks Brad!

  3. Charlotte Noonan says:

    I still have a Tecnicks stereo components set that Bill bought piece by piece when we were just married and could not afford to do it any other way. I still enjoy its sound and it brings me back to wonderful times in our lives together. Nice to have such great memories in our sunset years.

    Lots of love,

  4. Sue Gibson says:

    sounds like you had a great time in college. Did I pick up it was your first senior year? I had a blast in college and am so grateful i had the blessing from my Mother (and her money) Sue

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