I haven’t played Scrabble in years. But, from the ages of 10 – 14 my friend Vicki and I would play the game just about every time we hung out at each other’s houses, challenging each other’s word crafting skills.
She was great at the game and won (practically) every time we played. For some reason I could only put together three and four letter words while she used most, if not all, her letters on the majority of her turns.
Even when she drew the dreaded letters like “Q”, “X” or “Z”, she came up with a multitude of creative words earning her 50-100 points a turn while I struggled to score above 10 points.
No matter how hard I tried, I was left staring at a group of letters that just didn’t seem to form any words no matter how many times I rearranged them on the wooden holder. But when I turned them around, Vicki saw words I’d never even thought about – that’s why she was so good at the game.
Even though I didn’t win much, I learned a lot playing those Scrabble games with my friend. For one thing, I learned to lose gracefully! But I also learned a lot about words and their meanings. Plus, many times after we finished played Scrabble we’d write stories, plays, and scripts which led me to discover my knack for creativity and writing.
Over the course of several summers we wrote countless stories, plus opening scenes of a radio play, the beginning of an episode for The Twilight Zone, and wrote a parody of a local newscast which we later recorded onto a cassette tape.
Time and again, we let our imaginations run free and came up with all kinds of amazing tales. Once after writing for quite a while, we cut the stories into strips and read them at random into the cassette recorder creating some very funny dialogue and scenes. We had great fun, but do I remember we got in trouble on more than one occasion when my parents were awoken due to our uncontrollable fits of laughter in the wee morning hours.
I still have those cassette tapes we made back in the late 60s and early 70s. I’ve kept them in a safe place just in case we ever want to go back and listen to our improv and imaginative stories.
I also have a Scrabble game tucked away in the closet. I might have a better chance at winning nowadays, but no matter what, I’ll always treasure the memories of our friendship and creative writing. Thanks Vicki.