Original artwork by Valma Parsons
Introduction: Many of my favorite memories revolve around the game known as 120s that is played in Newfoundland and under various forms and names across North America. Every Wednesday night my dad would have card night at my house. Each night one man would take a turn cooking for that evening. Fueled on a hearty meal and lots of local brew the men would sit down to play. Many a night as I lay in bed. I was awakened by the men screaming and yelling about what card should be laid or some insult hurled back and forth. Good food and good company is what makes a simple card game a family tradition. My mother also has her card club to this day. It is a little more civilized and they take turns going to each others houses.
Another one of best memories of playing 120s is at the cabin with a few buddies, a bottle of rum on the table and lots of lies told around the fire. We would play scat and a few other games but no arguments would be as heated as the 120s play. Before we would realize the sun would be coming up. A good scoff for breakfast and we would be ready for a day of fishing or some other outdoor activity.
Origins: The game 120s or Auction 45s originates from an Irish game called Spoil 5. It is played in Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, PEI, New Brunswick and certain places in the Boston states. An interesting fact is that a similar game called Maw was played in the 16th and 17th centuries. One of the early fans of the game was King James VI of Scotland.