by George Spink
My parents, aunts and uncles, and neighbors spent many evenings in the 1940's and 1950's playing cards, often five-card stud, sitting around the kitchen table in our Chicago home, drinking beer, smoking, and on Fridays and Saturdays staying up until 1 or 2 a.m., sometimes later.
I was about 10 years old when I learned how to play. I could only join the "big folks" on week nights, not on Fridays or Saturdays. That was OK. On Saturdays I watched "Your Hit Parade" and other shows I really liked!
Looking back at all of the fun we had in those days, I remember a song my father introduced me to in 1948: A Deck of Cards by Tex Ritter.
Tex sang about a soldier fighting in North Africa who is reported for looking at his deck of cards during a Sunday church service. Listen to Tex tell this amazing story:
This remains one of my favorite stories. In 1959, a young Wink Martindale recited "A Deck of Cards" on the Ed Sullivan show. Perhaps you saw it, too. Here it is:
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