When I was a kid, my parents had a fun group of friends that they would get together with quite often. They would have parties and take trips together. My sisters were older and out of the house and the other couples all had older children as well. So, I was the only kid and would often tag along. They would take turns hosting and once per month, would get together to play cards.
The men would be in one room, smoking cigars, drinking whiskey, and playing poker. The women would be in another room, smoking cigarettes and playing gin rummy or canasta(I don’t recall the women drinking alcohol). Sometimes, if one of the women was absent, I would fill in and play. They would play for small stakes but also set aside some of the money each month so they could all save up and go on vacations together. I believe they used to go to the Catskills once every year or so, which was still a fun place to go well into the 70’s. I didn’t go on the vacations but I have many fun memories of the card playing nights through the years. I was the only kid so they all paid a fair amount of attention to me. Plus, the other couples were all a great deal of fun. There was plenty of laughter and, even if the humor was over my head, it was generally a lot of fun to be around them all.
The other night, we were over our friend’s house for an investment club meeting and as it turns out, it was the eighteenth anniversary of our club, which consists of six couples. We’re all friends from college and eighteen years ago, we decided this would be a good excuse to get together every month. We’re not smoking cigarettes and cigars but there may be a few whiskeys tossed back here and there. Instead of taking a rake from a monthly card game, we’ve invested our money in the stock market(they had their gambling, we’ve got ours). We’ve made a few bucks over the years(I’m not talking about serious money) and quite a few years ago, we decided that we would use the money to take a big vacation together when we cash out. A number of ideas have been thrown around and generally involve going to Europe on some sort of a cruise. We’ll see what happens. We still have a few more years until the youngest child in the group is off to college.
I wonder if, in twenty or thirty years, our children will look back on our monthly investment club get togethers as fondly as I do on my parent’s card playing parties? I certainly hope so.