Give him a hand: Took nearly 75 years for Digby man to get perfect cribbage hand

Published on February 1, 2017

Longtime cribbage player Obed Parker of Digby had a memorable game recently with a perfect hand.


DIGBY, N.S. – Obed Parker was 13 or 14 when he began playing cribbage. He recalls picking it up from his older brothers and says he liked it right from the start.

“Oh yes,” he said. “Cribbage is a good game. It’s a thinking game.”

The Digby resident made cribbage a lifelong activity – playing countless games with friends and family, as well as taking part in tournaments at legion halls and the Digby fish and game club – but it took him almost 75 years to achieve a perfect hand of 29.

It happened Jan. 28, a date he’s not likely to forget, given the significance of the occasion. Experts say you’re more likely to get a hole-in-one in golf than a perfect hand in cribbage.

Parker was playing with his daughter Elizabeth when it happened.

“The thing of a lifetime,” he said. “It sure was.”

Asked what he likes about cribbage, he talks about being able to forget what else might be on your mind and focusing on the game.

“When you’re playing cribbage, that is the only thing on your mind,” he said. “You don’t think of anything else.”

Now in his late eighties, Parker says he plays a couple of times a week or so.

These days it’s harder to get volunteers to organize tournaments, he said.

“We used to have tournaments every year at different legions around,” he said.

Cribbage, however, remains an enjoyable family activity for him. On the night of his perfect hand, he played four games with his daughter, winning all of them.

Elizabeth took it all in stride, happy to spend some time with her dad and be a part of a special moment in his cribbage life.