Beyond the Marbles
Whatever happened to Ricky Brode?
The last time Allegany Magazine featured you was on the February/March 2007 cover. You were only twelve years old then. Do you have memories of that photo shoot we did with you? I remember the day being outrageously cold which resulted in myself not being very enthusiastic. I remember being asked if I could recreate my “in the zone" look and apparently I had no luck in doing so, so you guys offered me $5 and it perked me up enough to get the shot.
What are some things you have been up to since we last caught up with you? I picked up guitar and that has been my hobby along side marbles.
And we hear you are coaching others now? I am coaching others. I coached kids by myself for a couple of years until my coaches, the Mawhinneys, found time again to coach. So now I just assist them with coaching because I'd much rather be practicing with the kids. We were lucky enough to coach another National Champion, Devon Lowendick, in 2015.
What is it that you would love to do next? I would love to pursue a career in architecture.
Do you still “shoot “marbles? Marbles has had such a positive impact on my life. Like I said, I was shy as a kid and I am now much more confident. It has also helped me realize how accessible your goals are if you're willing to put in the time and effort to reach them. I never thought I'd have the skills to win a tournament on the national level because marbles came as a surprise to me. I never thought as a child: “I want to be good at shooting marbles;" it was something my school was offering at the time so I tried it out, enjoyed it, and stuck with it.
What do you remember most about that whole “cover boy” experience? A few of my classmates had articles they wrote in the magazine so quite a few kids at my school saw it and realized I was on the cover and had nothing but good things to say about it. I was pretty shy back then about playing marbles so it was a bit of a confidence booster.