Mixsonian Larry

Estate Sale
My Mother's Brother's Daughter
The Chess Table

  Chess with my brother
Grandma Junior's Birthday, 1987
Playing chess with my brother on the chess board at Uncle Gary's
log cabin house while Grandma Junior watched.

The Chess SetThe chess board in my house in 2023.
Hanging on the wall a painting I did which I gave to my
brother who loaned it back to me. Painting title
"You're move"

Today my cousin, my mother’s brother’s daughter had an estate sale.  My cousin had called me a week before saying she was planning to have an estate sale for some positions of hers, her father’s and some from another of our cousins.  She called me for she said one of the items in the sale was her father’s chess table and chess set and she thought I might be interested in it.  I had only to think for a second and replied “Yes, I would like to have it.”

 My cousin’s father, my uncle, held some special memories for me and one of those memories was chess.  Over the years in his travels he collected chess sets from all over the world.  Sets of stone, bronze, and other materials, which he displayed in his amazing old log cabin house.   But one of the sets I remember most was the set on the table in the great room of the log cabin house.  When I say “great room” I do mean great, for the room was like one you find in some lodge, thirty by eighty feet, vaulted log ceiling and a stone fireplace on the end.  Such a room had separate sitting areas, one by the big window, one in front of the fireplace, but the one that I remember was most was the chess table, with two chairs and the chess set setup ready to play.    

I would look at the chess table all set up to play and remember another time, a time when I was much younger.  My uncle came over to visit us, as our family often did and on this occasion my brother and I had a chess game setup and had finished a game and my uncle said he would like to play.  Surprised, for I didn’t even know my uncle played chess, so, of course, I said yes.  We set up the pieces and the game began, and in what later I would learn was the Fool’s Mate play, I put him in checkmate in four moves.  He was like in shock, for I’m sure he expected to easily beat me.  I was like in a wildly euphoric state, not really believing I had just one in four moves.     

My uncle and I never played chess again.  In the following years he collected his chess sets, displaying them in his house, but the one on the table, in the log cabin was one special for I always envisioned my uncle and I sitting down once again, and replaying that game of old, to see what we each had learned, how we each might play.    

There today at the estate sale was the chess set that once sat in my uncle’s house, all set up, ready to play and so I bought it home with me.   It now sits in my house, all setup ready to play, and I imagine my uncle sitting there across from me, it’s his move.   

Larry Mixson,  May 17, 2019