A game with Keizer’s cribbage master

By ERIC A. HOWALD Of the Keizertimes Two poorly-shot, instructional YouTube videos and an hour trying to memorize the scoring table at the  American Cribbage Congress website are all I’ve got when I sit down at the table. My opponent, Keizerite Rollie Heath, is a 2011 inductee of the Cribbage Hall of Fame with more than 13,000 wins to his name – enough victories that he’s a Life Master. More than enough, actually. To honor the achievement, the powers that be had to add a * next to his Life Master title whenever he’s mentioned in ACC official documents and newsletters. The thing I should be feeling is intimidation. At another time in his life, Rollie might have wanted it that way. Instead, he is effusive in ushering me to the seat in the kitchen of his apartment. It’s like sitting down to play my family’s card game, Spite & Malice, with my maternal grandfather. Two minutes after meeting Rollie, I’m ready to spend the rest of the day with him. We cut for the deal. He cuts the low card winning the deal and shuffles the deck three times, standard practice for cribbage. He deals out six cards to each of us. ~ “When I was younger, I was hot-tempered,” Rollie says. “I was a teacher, strict, but fair.” Rollie, now 74, surrendered to teaching at the age...

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