John Beatty

Stella's Game

Growing up in affluence in Detroit in the '60s didn't make anyone immune from the chaos…but Stella's Game did.
Money couldn't save kids in the suburbs from the troubles of the '60s, especially in Detroit, but Stella's Game did.
In the '60s, people lost respect for institutions, and then there was Stella's Game.
Before there were cell phones, there was Stella's Game.
Before there was the internet, there was Stella's Game.
Before there was Google, friends lost each other, but there was Stella's Game.
And always, when Stella dealt her Game, there were friends.
Stella’s Game was home, a safe port in a roiling sea.  When she shuffled, the world took a seat, and the winds fell; as she dealt, the waters returned to calm. When the cards were dealt, troubles were gone, and friends were welcome.
Stella’s Game:  the eye of the storm where you are welcome and safe; she won’t have it any other way.
The players are always family., or become family.  No matter the argument--calm, cool, uproarious or explosive, Stella sits at her big round table and quietly to shuffles her cards.  As she shuffles, the boisterousness begins to subside, or the temperature slowly drops, and a calm descends on the room as the players take their place at the table, and Stella begins to deal her Game.
Stella shuffles cards, and everything else gradually fades into the background.
An aura of serenity envelopes the room, unnoticed by the players--the subjects and participants--in the process.
No one decides to put everything aside. they just play, and failure to take part is a heresy.
The players don't bear witness to the process--they are a part of it.
Stella's Game just…happens.
And when Stella deals her Game…everything stops.
Watch the world in the eyes of two boys and two girls in an affluent Detriot neighborhood. Watch as their world is transformed, as they grow, laugh, love, and learn from 1963 to 1974.
350 printed pages
Original publication



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