by Chris Van Allsburg
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 1981
(1982 Caldecott winner)
I have an old thimble that my gram used when she sewed. It’s pretty big, she might have worn it on her thumb. Her (my) thimble is unusual. The top is open, so she could wear it lower on her finger (or thumb). She used it when she was mending socks or zippers. She used it when she sewed for me. She was a great seamstress, but underappreciated by us kids. One time she made nightgowns for my sister and me. She made her own pattern by transferring our measurements onto newspaper. Long set-in sleeves and a little ruffle on the bottom. She didn’t fashion us any day clothes that I remember.
I missed a really important current event. Hasbro announced the thimble is going the way of the iron in its iconic game. On-line voters chose a cute little kitty cat to replace it in 2013.
Voting for Monopoly’s thimble replacement ended January 31, 2017. Where was I? Sidetracked by politics, grandkids, politics, birthday parties, the New Year, and politics, no doubt.
Even though it’s too late to vote, you can see the choices here. (Use the arrows on the side to see photos of current pieces.) http://ew.com/gaming/monopoly-new-tokens/monopoly-token-madness-vote/. The winner will be announced on March 19.
Low-key, low-maintenance, low-interest in materialism are ways I think of myself. So why the interest in a game of high stakes in a high action city like Atlantic City, New Jersey? Looking at it from my current perspective, it seems like a greedy money and land grab. But that is now.
Then, our game came with with pewter pieces (that’s still true), including the iron and the thimble, and wooden houses and hotels (still available in the Deluxe Edition). Now they are plastic. My brother and sister and I would claim the coffee table in the living room and set up for a game that usually lasted several days. My brother liked to be the car. My sister liked the car and the shoe. I liked being the shoe, but I hardly ever got to be. Lots of times, I was the iron, sometimes the thimble. None of us wanted to be the dog!
It was a game. We didn’t put too much stock in the capitalistic philosophy. We counted the money, rolled the dice, chose Community Chest cards. We learned to count and add play money, buy and trade properties, utilities and railroads. And we learned to take turns. We rooted for each other and cheered each other on. Then we worked together putting everything away. Kinda the opposite of greedy capitalistic land grabs.