1000 Marbles


New member
Apr 19, 2004
This has been around for a while...But always worth the 're'-read!

1000 Marbles

The older I get, the more I enjoy Saturday mornings. Perhaps it's the
quiet solitude that comes with being the first to rise, or maybe it's
the unbounded joy of not having to be at work. Either way, the first few
hours of a Saturday morning are most enjoyable.

A few weeks ago, I was shuffling toward the basement ham-shack with a
steaming cup of coffee in one hand and the morning paper in the other.
What began as a typical Saturday morning turned into one of those
lessons that life seems to hand you from time to time. Let me tell you about

I turned the dial up into the phone portion of the band on my ham radio in
order to listen to a Saturday morning swap net. Along the way, I came across
an older sounding chap, with a tremendous signal and a golden voice. You
know the kind; he sounded like he should be in the broadcasting business. He
was telling whomever he was talking with something about "a thousand
marbles." I was intrigued and stopped to listen to what he had to say.

"Well, Tom, it sure sounds like you're busy with your job. I'm sure they
pay you well but it's a shame you have to be away from home and your family
so much. Hard to believe a young fellow should have to work sixty or seventy
hours a week to make ends meet. Too bad you missed your daughter's dance
recital" he continued. "Let me tell you something that has helped me keep a
good perspective on my own priorities."

And that's when he began to explain his theory of a "thousand marbles."

"You see, I sat down one day and did a little arithmetic. The average person
lives about seventy-five years. I know, some live more and some live less,
but on average, folks live about seventy-five years.

"Now then, I multiplied 75 times 52 and I came up with 3900, which is the
number of Saturdays that the average person has in their entire lifetime.
Now, stick with me, Tom, I'm getting to the important part. It took me until
I was fifty-five years old to think about all this in any detail", he went
on, "and by that time I had lived through over twenty-eight hundred

"I got to thinking that if I lived to be seventy-five, I only had about a
thousand of them left to enjoy. So I went to a toy store and bought every
single marble they had. I ended up having to visit three toy stores to round
up 1000 marbles. I took them home and put them inside a large, clear plastic
container right here in the shack next to my gear."

"Every Saturday since then, I have taken one marble out and thrown it away.
I found that by watching the marbles diminish, I focused more on the
really important things in life. There is nothing like watching your time
here on this earth run out to help get your priorities straight.

"Now let me tell you one last thing before I sign-off with you and take my
lovely wife out for breakfast. This morning, I took the very last marble out
of the container. I figure that if I make it until next Saturday then I have
been given a little extra time. And the one thing we can all use is a
little more time."

"It was nice to meet you Tom, I hope you spend more time with your family,
and I hope to meet you again here on the band. This is a 75 Year old Man,
K9NZQ, clear and going QRT, good morning!"

You could have heard a pin drop on the band when this fellow signed off..

I guess he gave us all a lot to think about. I had planned to work on the
antenna that morning, and then I was going to meet up with a few hams to
work on the next club newsletter. Instead, I went upstairs and woke my wife
up with a kiss. "C'mon honey, I'm taking you and the kids to breakfast."

"What brought this on?" she asked with a smile. Oh, nothing special, it's
just been a long time since we spent a Saturday together with the kids. And
hey, can we stop at a toy store while we're out? I need to buy some


New member
Nov 28, 2001
That was a very good story...Thanks



That is one of my favorite stories. I thought about it the other day, but due to some computer crashes over the last few years, I had lost my copy. Thanks for sharing it. That one is a definite keeper.



I don't know what you are all so awestruck about; listening to some old geezer who had , ahem; lost all his marbles! :D (Just kidding; great story. ) :D
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