I learned to play chess from my father. He started by teaching me checkers, and then when I expressed an interest in learning chess, he taught me that. A hard-working and busy man, I still remember him pausing to take time to play a game with me and let me practice my strategies to one day win while playing him. I never did win, and he never let me win. He wanted me to learn to win “fair and square”.
Chess wasn’t just about learning a game, it was about time with Dad. It was time to talk. He’d ask how school was going, and would usually share a story from his youth. Sometimes the stories shared were ones I’d already heard, but I didn’t mind. One of my favourites was his story of the “big scab” he had gotten while sustaining an injury playing at recess, his careful removal of the entire scab … in one piece … and placing it for safe keeping in his social studies textbook. Oh the memories! 🙂
It’s been nine years since my father passed away.
I miss those chess games, and those stories.