The Gambling Parties

The Gambling Parties

A Chapter by Butterfly

Details of the illegal gambling and moon shine sales witnessed at an earl yage.


“Hah, what cha hit fuh!” Those words resonated

throughout our house almost every weekend. Being

seven at the time, I would stay up to try to see what

those words meant.


One night, peeping through the crack of the door,

I saw my father on one knee amid about five other

guys with a small horn-shaped object in his hand.

The object was made out of tin. It had a small hole

in the top and a large one at the bottom. They would

place a set of dice in the object, shake it, and then

toss the dice down the hall, and those words would

follow. The object had become rusted and worn from

the game of craps. It wasn’t until later in life that I

understood what those words meant.


During the gambling weekends, the house would

reek with the smell of tobacco, sweat, and corn liquor,

corn liquor that my momma made right from our

kitchen. She made a batch every night, and my father

would sell it to all the locals and to some who were

close enough to make the drive.


For those who were local, they would usually purchase

their liquor and hang out around the house.

They would join in and play craps or just converse

with each other. Often when playing craps, the men

would become intoxicated with corn liquor, accusing

one another of cheating. First, they would exchange

words, cursing each other out terribly. Then the

punches would follow. The fights would last until

my dad would eventually break it up. This didn’t stop

them from playing the game though and they would

come back for more every weekend. My mom and

dad thought they had the perfect setup; the more the

men drank, the more they gambled their money away.


It wasn’t all fun because it all came with a price.

The raids came as frequently as the gambling parties.

My mom had seven girls, starting with Trina, the

oldest, Betsy, myself, Reba, Trudy, Colleta, and Zade,

and we were all properly trained to get away in case a

raid did occur. She was friends with everyone in the

neighborhood, and they knew what business she ran

from her house. She supported their addictions, and

they helped her stay in business. When the raids did

occur, we were trained to jump from our bedroom

window onto a mattress that was always there for that

purpose. The mattress was badly worn, beat-up from

our constant leaps to safety. Once on our feet, we were

told to run to a neighbor’s house. We were filled with

fear, and our hearts were pounding. I always seemed

to be the only one to get away. My six other sisters

would get caught and be taken to the juvenile detention



This happened more often than I would like to

remember. The neighbors knew to keep me safe until

the raid was over. I would go back home the next

morning just to find an empty house. My sisters would

be locked up in the juvenile detention center, and my

momma and father hid out. The center wouldn’t let

my sisters out and would keep them there until my

momma turned herself in. She wouldn’t turn herself

in for days, and my sisters would be left there alone,

not knowing when Mom was coming to get them. I

hated it for them. I hated it for all of us because our

mom, more so than dad, slowly but surely turned our

home upside down.


When Momma did turn herself in, she never

stayed in jail long. She would get out just like that,

and the gambling started all over again. There was no

stopping this woman. Her addiction to money continually

put us at risk. I guess you could say gambling

became our momma’s world. Winning made her very

happy, and losing made us very sad. When she had a

good night, those were the times we didn’t get a beating

from her. The times she didn’t win, there was hell

to pay, and we all paid for it, even my dad. She would

come home fussing and fighting him, but for us, it

was a lot worse. I recall one morning at 4:00 a.m., we

had to get out of bed and clean the entire house from

front to back. We had to sweep and mop behind the

stove and refrigerator. She went through the rooms

throwing clothes from the drawers and closets, and

we had to come behind her picking them up to fold

them away all over again. It got so crazy, and the only

way to calm her down was for my dad to give her

money. Once she calmed down, we could finally go

back to bed.


Lying in the bed after such an escapade, I would

just drift off to a far, far away place, a place from all

the chaos and loneliness. Yes, I was lonely for a mother’s

love and gentleness. Such affection seemed so far


Would you like to read more, purchase the book at Barnes and Noble or

© 2011 Butterfly

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Added on October 11, 2011
Last Updated on October 18, 2011
Tags: Gambling, Parties, Illegal, Sale, Alcohol, Raids



Cordova, TN

I am a recently published author and is currently working on my second book. I have a MBA and currently work as a Project Manager. more..

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