Thursday, May 15, 2008

Where do we go from here now that all of the children are growing up?

Ever since Noel received (and reviewed) a DVD collection of classic episodes of The Price Is Right, Archer has added the show to the regular rotation of game shows that he "hosts" for us. It's quickly become his favorite, because it is more number-focused than either Merv Griffin's Crosswords or Wheel Of Fortune, while having the advantage of also featuring a big wheel to spin in the Showcase Showdown. (So enamored is Archer of the big wheel concept that he tends to add spinning numerical wheels even to games that don't have them, leading to us having to spin imaginary wheels to find out what our Merv Griffin's Crosswords clue will be worth.) We've added the Million Dollar Spectacular to our TiVo list so Archer can have a taste of prime-time Price Is Right on a weekly basis.

I used to watch quite a bit of Price Is Right in the summer, or whenever I was home sick. The bright seventies decor and populuxe prizes fit my emerging middle-class aesthetic perfectly.

And then there was always the possibility of seeing this:

It's a game carpet! From Jorges, maker of fine floor coverings, comes the Games People Play carpet, complete with game pieces for checkers, chess, parcheesi, hopscotch, and dozens of other games. Hours of gameroom fun for the entire family. "It's Perfectly Jorges!"

Jorges is my mother's maiden name, and Jorges Carpets was the company founded by my Uncle Eddie, her older brother, just down the road from us in Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia. He named a line of carpets after his oldest daughter, my cousin Joy, too. We had "Games People Play" carpet in our basement, and while I don't remember the box with the pieces so much (I wish I did -- those graphics are stellar), I'll never forget the hundreds of days we whiled away building Hot Wheels tracks and playing Kerplunk on that carpet.

I worked one summer while home from college at the Jorges Carpet plant, long after its heyday on nationally-televised gameshows, cutting and trimming carpet samples and pasting them in sample books. I really loved the job, actually, the only manual labor job I've ever had. Most of the samples were standard carpet types -- industrial and residential -- not novelty designs like the game carpet. But I did get to paste that one in a book occasionally, and I can still see a portion of an ornate "4" in the square that I held up to the rotating trimmer to bevel the edges to a beautiful smoothness before applying the hot glue and centering it carefully on the page.


Doc Thelma said...

We had that carpet in our hallway during much of my childhood. The hopscotch was conveniently outside my bedroom door. I loved it. No offense to Uncle Eddie, but my dad didn't share the sentiment; he called it "the bane of his existence." I'm not sure which he disliked more, the game carpet or the green and yellow owls on my bedroom wallpaper.

Ah, the 1970's!

Southern Muse said...

I came across your post while searching for Jorges Carpet Mills. I was scrapbooking and couldn't quite remember the spelling. Years ago--about 1973 or 1974--Jorges bought some artwork from me ($5) from a local student art exhibit at the Creative Arts Guild in Dalton. They used the theme of my poster to design a mod carpet entitled "Nice Day." It had starfish and abstract dots and squiggles, and actually said "NICE DAY" all over the carpet! They gave me a roll of the finished product. It was tufted in reds, browns, and yellow golds. They also gave me a flyer of a room decorated with the carpet. It's very "70s"! The next year, they instituted an annual purchase award competition, in which they would buy a piece of student artwork and have their designers create a carpet from it. (I never actually won the competition--mine was before the competition ever began.) I remember sometimes hearing "Jorges" on game shows when they would give away carpet as a prize. It was fun to read about your game-show carpet!