Roll of the Dice

When I was about 6 years old, my sister Maggie accused me of cheating in Yahtzee.

Although I was a smart kid, cheating at dice was out of my league. Maggie was just mad because I was lucky.

I’m not the kind of lucky where I can pick the winning horse at the track. Not that I would ever go to a horse track.

And though I usually rolled well in board games, as an adult I wouldn’t drive even two miles out of my way to go to a casino. When I lived in the Pacific Northwest and there were casinos run by Native American tribes all over the place, I didn’t once bother to go. I never felt wealthy enough to throw money away on gambling.

Travel and journalism made me appreciate the luck that I have – the fortunes of being born in the right place at the right time to the right parents.  Even the health problems that have befallen Tom and I seem like a kind of luck.

With this background, you might wager that I would believe life is just one big game of chance.

I do believe that your birthrights or birth debts can set short or long odds for success. I do believe life can throw some really bad hands at us.

But those are just the first half of the play. Your move is the second half.

That’s what was going through my mind when I made the pair of glass pieces pictured above. I wasn’t consciously creating a pair of dice, but I let my hands sift through the pieces of glass and let my eyes guide them to a composition that pleased my brain.

The two pieces, mounted on frosted glass, made Roll of the Dice. That thread of action ties together the scattered bits on the face of the dice.

Today I took this new work, along with five other fused glass sculptures, to the Bowen Arts Center in Dawsonville. My local artists’ group is having a month-long show there starting Friday.

Because the Bowen also has a gift shop, I brought some of my fused glass necklaces and pins. When the director, Ginny, saw them she emptied out a display case at the front of the gallery and let me fill it with my jewelry. She also gave me the large table in the center of the room to display my glass sculptures. They’re the first thing people will see when they walk in.

Lucky me!

Today’s penny is a 1973. That’s the year that Milton Bradley purchased the E.S. Lowe Company and assumed the rights to produce and sell Yahtzee. I turned 14 that year and by then, Maggie refused to play any dice games with me.

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