In the early 70s, I spent a week in downtown Dallas, Texas at an IBM training seminar. There was a Neiman Marcus down the street and they were happy to give IBMer's charge cards so I got one and made that store my bitch.
The one thing I remember buying was a beautiful leather backgammon board that folded up into a nice case. It was classy. And I gave it to my parents at my next visit. They used that same board for the next 30 years. In the mid 80's I had to replace the felted points which was not easy at all but I could not find a replacement that met their exacting standards they way this one did.
I wonder what ever happened to that thing... Probably my sister snagged it and gave it to her kids who ripped out the insides to make it a cricket house or something.
jwg left a comment that reminded me of my other 'gaming' obsession of old - bridge. My Mom belonged to a bridge club that my brother and I were remembering when he was here in January. It was more of a cult than a club. They played every other Wednesday afternoon. Their venue rotated around through all of their homes. Hosting involved providing lunch and snacks.
When Bridge Club was at our house it was a BFD. Monday and Tuesday were house cleaning and food prep and children were smart if they were hidden from view. And, of course, come Wednesday, children were required to completely disappear. Penalties for non compliance were severe.
BUT, the payoff was massive. Wednesday evening, the eats were the best. There was always amazing stuff left over. Great luncheon food plus candy and nibbles.
I don't have any idea how I learned to play bridge myself. I know my Mother didn't teach me but somehow I picked it up. In college I played for beer money and always had plenty to drink. When I got out of college, I started playing duplicate bridge and really studying to get better. When I was married, it saved my sanity. My husband didn't play and I had a regular partner and we were getting really really good and then I moved out of town.
I played when I lived in Minnesota in a funny club of mostly octogenarians. When I moved from there, I just kind of let it go. I still have my books and cheat sheets. But I haven't played in years. It takes way too much time and, frankly, I don't really like bridge players.
I do enjoy playing backgammon (and, to a lesser degree, gin rummy) on my phone. I like that it's always there and ready and that while it may have some good skills, its trash talk does not hold a candle to mine.