Friday, July 30, 2004

"Ronnie Gaskins' Retirement Press Conference"
By Salvador Gabor

This is somewhat "breaking news" in the card playing industry. Spades legend Ronnie Gaskins, decides to put down his hand for the final time. Ronnie, the 38-year old Verizon Phone Technician sees no need to prolong his retirement from the card playing/speak-easy industry. Introduced to the game in the hallways of Ballou High School, located in Washington, D.C., he went from the ranks of Junior 3rd Floor Tunk Champion to the #1 Contender for the Ballou/Spingarn Spades Co-Championship. He and his avid partner, Jo-Jo Wiggins have defeated many of their competitors in a destructive fashion. They held the highest average for "books" bidded in the entire city. 10.5 books a game was an astonishing number to bid. They ran "Boston's" on almost every opponent in at least one hand during matchups. Ronnie and ole Jo-Jo were surely a tandem to be reckoned with. I had the chance to be in attendance for the retirement press conference and I have some of the manuscript from the event

Ronnie: Good evening and a special "Wuz up witchall niggas" going out to all in attendence. It is with great sadness, yet great joy that I announce my retirement from the D.C. Area Speak-easy/Card League. This was a hard decision but, one that had to be made. I came to this point in my life when talking to my good friend Jo-Jo. I mean, niggas is getting older. We like 38 now. It's time for a new generation of card players. I shot dice, I played cards, and I even tried to play video games. I'm a gambler at heart but, it's no need anymore. I'm tired of the games and I want to take some rest. I don't have much more to say but if there any questions, feel free

Reporter: So Ronnie, what will Jo-Jo do without you?

Ronnie: Thats my nigga fo sho! He still shooting dice down on 15th & V. Occasionally, he'll go up the hill on Belmont and play some cee-lo. He aint ready to leave yet but, he understood my decision

Reporter: Do you think that as a tandem, there will ever be any two players like you and Jo-Jo?

Ronnie: Understand this........Jo-Jo and Ronnie ran this city. But we never RAN this city. You follow me........See we didnt have to run around looking for players. Alot of clowns came looking for us. And we always cleaned up! Believe that champ. Many may try to be us, and even if they are the next Ronnie and Jo-Jo, that's an honor for someone to wanna be Ronnie or Jo-Jo.

Reporter: Speakeasy's and card playing are sports that most don't BEGIN until their 30's, why retire so early!?!?!?

Ronnie: I don't really have the patience to play wit dem old folks. The game goes by too slow. Them old fat women wanna hit on a nigga. Too many distractions. Plus, Jo-Jo has been leaning more to shooting dice.

Reporter: Can we look forward to seeing you shoot some dice anytime soon?

Ronnie: I might do a lil bit of side-betting on Jo-Jo but, other than that.........naw I can't see it.

Reporter: I saw an interview on the Salvador Gabor Report months ago about Ricardo "Shake Em Up" Baker, he has reportedly challenged you and Jo-Jo to shoot some craps. You're telling me that you would decline such a challenge?

Ronnie: Always know that niggas will be niggas. Dice is 'Cardo's game. I do it but, for real, I aint into being on my knees that long. I don't do too much on my knees other than pray. Any man on his knees as long as 'Cardo has a "problem" if you know what I mean.

Reporter: That seems to be a low-blow?

Ronnie: Call it how you see it, I may not shoot dice but, I still Slap-Box. And you can tell 'Cardo that the next time he go running and issuing challenges!!!

Reporter: Any last words?

Ronnie: I live by this quote, "Never Re-Nig.......MY Nig!"

Well, there you have it........a legend for the ages. Will we see Ronnie and Jo-Jo take another stab at a Spades Championship? Will we see one team stay on the table for 15 hours as Ronnie and Jo-Jo did one summer night after Minnesota Ave. Day? Will we ever ever ever see the likes of Ronnie Gaskins? We will never know. But, we'll always be on the lookout

This is Salvador Gabor signing off.

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