I remember setting up the table and chairs outside in the shade,

where Grandpa taught me to play checkers, with each move we made.

He told me how each piece could move and how to get a king,

and that you have to take your jumps was the most important thing.

After a few moves he would say, “Be careful I have a trap set”,

and as I was looking for it he would ask me, “Do you see it yet”?

He had a grin on his face as he leaned back in his chair,

to give me plenty of time to find his trap, that I knew was there.

“Now don’t get in it whatever you do,

or I’ll trade you 1 for 2”.

We played every summer, day after day,

until the Lord saw fit to take him away.

After he passed I put up my board and swore never to play again,

but years later I realized, Grandpa wouldn’t want this game to end.

Checkers is a great game he taught me to play,

he used it to show me how to have patience, and make good decisions each day.

So I dug out my old checkerboard and cleaned off all the dust,

started teaching my daughter the game, which I felt was a must.

I try to play checkers every chance I can,

to teach it to a child, woman or a man.

As I get older and have more time to spare,

I will hear of a tournament and I will go there.

Not for the money and not for the fame,

but just for the joy of playing the game.

It really don’t matter if I win, lose or draw,

it helps me to remember my days with Grandpa.

If we ever meet at a tournament some day,

I hope we get the chance to visit and play.

Be careful where you move and watch what I do,

because I will be working on trading you 1 for 2.

 In Memory of Marvin Hodges

By Quint Hodges | 11-20-2017

Picture taken August 1980


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