Daily Progress, Jacksonville, TX

Local News

May 10, 2014

Trumping the competition

Group gathers to play 42 each month

JACKSONVILLE — In Douglas Adams' novel, The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, it was the answer to life, the universe and … everything. While the British author probably was not paying tribute to the popular domino game called "42," for some area residents it's the perfect answer to meeting new friends, staying mentally fit and sharing a favorite dish.

Jacksonville Woodmen of the World Life Insurance Society members and others have been meeting every first Wednesday of the month for years, to play 42 and other games and share a potluck lunch before holding Society business meetings.

“You don't have to be a member to play,” said Woodmen of the World field rep Terri Underwood. “Anyone with a love for a rousing game of dominoes, or any other table game, is welcome.”

According to the website, www.texas42.net, 42 is a strategic game similar to the card game Bridge.

“Some folks say 42 (also called Texas 42) was conceived by a lad in East Texas because his parents would not let him play cards; others say 42 originated in Georgetown,” the site states. “The most widely publicized story, however, says 42 started in Garner, Texas, in 1887.”

Many local players can especially relate to the first version.

"We played dominoes because Mother wouldn't even let cards into the house," Jacksonville resident Margaret Hightower recalled with a laugh, as her tablemates nodded in agreement.

Erma Carpenter explained, "Playing cards was considered gambling then - it didn't matter what game it actually was. We weren't even allowed to play Old Maid."

A rule that sticks to this day, as all games anyone plays at the Woodmen of the World sessions – including the card ones – are played for fun only.

Many players at Wednesday's game fondly remember learning and playing 42 and other games with family and friends, and said they keep playing, not only for the social aspects of it, but for the mental challenge as well.

Ponta resident Virginia Bush recalled "when I was growing up, there was the little old man who ran the store who built a room at the back, and every Saturday night he'd let the young people come and play 42 together. Our parents allowed it because they knew he didn't allow no hanky-panky!”

Jacksonville resident Roy Jimmerson said, “I've played ever since I can remember and I remember playing by coal oil light. That was our entertainment then and it's still entertaining today.”

Simpson echoed Jimmerson's sentiment, adding “I love the social aspect of it, of course, but it certainly helps keep the brain sharp, too.”

Those good times continue today, even though participation has dropped steadily in recent years.

“We used to have as many as six tables going at once,” long-time player Lois Davis said. “And a lot of younger people don't want to learn to play – they say it's for 'old people.'”

Woodmen of the World financial rep Chris Green, of Bullard, was the youngest player – the only non-retiree – at this month's gaming session.

“I'd never even played 42 before coming here,” he admitted. “But I used to play Spades and it wasn't hard to pick up. I like the strategy of it. It's fun. I want to teach it to my own family, but they're just not interested.”

Every player at Wednesday's gaming session said they'd be thrilled to teach anyone interested in learning how to play.

“It really is pretty simple,” Bobbi Simpson, of Jacksonville, said, then added jokingly, "The hardest part is coming up with something new to bring for the lunch.”

And it's always in good fun.

“Everyone is a good sport, even if there's a lot of trash talk coming from that table over there,” Green joked with a wink, indicating the table where Margaret Hightower and Lois Davis were playing with their respective partners, Bobbi Simpson and Jean Petri – eliciting peals of laughter in response.

Games begin at 9 a.m., every first Wednesday of the month at the Woodmen of the World building, 315 CR 3101 in Jacksonville. Lunch is served around 11:30 a.m. with the business meeting following.

Contact Woodmen of the World representative Terri Underwood at 903-586-5402 for more information.


Text Only
Local News
  • UPDATE: County co-op says many customers may not have power until Friday

    July 24, 2014

  • Old Jville Bearden Store.tif Longtime furniture store changes hands

    For the better part of a century, Bearden Furniture Co., Inc., has been the go-to place for local residents wanting to beautify their home.
    Furniture and accessories, carpeting, window treatments – even electronics at one point – were offered at the Commerce Street store, but on July 1, the family who started Bearden's sold the company to Louisiana-based Ivan Smith Furniture company.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Athens woman confesses to killing daughter

    A 25-year-old mother is in the Henderson County Jail after telling authorities that she had killed her four-year-old daughter, Monday

    July 24, 2014

  • Bullard: District names Jan Hill as deputy superintendent

    Bullard Independent School District is proud to announce Jan Hill as Deputy Superinten-dent. Hill will assume the new role effective immediately.

    July 24, 2014

  • ‘Christmas in July’ drive benefits area foster children

    Sure, December is still more than five months away, but Cherokee County residents are getting the chance to start spreading some holiday cheer a little early this year during the annual Christmas in July donation drive, benefitting the county's Rainbow Room.

    July 24, 2014

  • 2014-2015 Jacksonville Leadership Institute opens enrollment

    What is Jacksonville Leadership Institute?
    Jacksonville Leadership Institute is a program through the Jacksonville, Texas Chamber of Commerce. A new class is formed each September.

    July 24, 2014

  • Jacksonville continues its mosquito spraying schedule

    The City of Jacksonville will continue implementing its summer mosquito spraying program next week by spraying areas 7 and 11.

    July 24, 2014

  • RuskProtestMain.tif Rusk protest highlights views concerning border issues

    Several Texans gathered Saturday in Rusk -- not only to protest the recent federally-sponsored flood of illegal immigrants into the U.S., but to demand state officials to do something about it.
    Nearly 20 concerned citizens gathered at the intersection of U.S. highways 69 and 84 Saturday afternoon, waving flags and hand-lettered signs asking for secure borders and better action on the matter.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • RISD board mulls $16M budget

    Local school board members are considering a $16,671,955 proposed general fund budget for Rusk ISD's upcoming fiscal year – which begins Sept. 1 – but are nowhere near close to adopting the budget, said Lesa Jones, assistant district superintendent for finance and operation.

    July 22, 2014

  • National Night Out to return to Jacksonville

    National Night Out ( NNO) festivities will be returning  to Jacksonville this year.
    Jacksonville Police Crime Prevention Officer Detective Tonya Harris said all Jacksonville residents are encouraged to participate this year by sponsoring or attending a National Night Out party on Oct. 7.

    July 22, 2014