A group of lifelong friends has found that the secret to preserving happy memories is to keep those memories alive at the poker table.
For one Monday a month since 2005, seven men who share nearly 70 years of history gather to play cards at the La Cañada Flintridge home of Dr. Mike Missakian.
The retired radiologist moved in with daughter Maylene Glidewell, also a physician, shortly after his wife passed away, bringing with him this simple ritual rooted back in his schoolboy days.
Each of the seven, now in their early 80s, graduated in 1947 or 1948 from George Washington High School in south Los Angeles, where the poker ritual began, with the gamblers playing for matchsticks.
All of them also went on from high school to attend college at UCLA, and most had already known each other from the halls of L.A.'s Horace Mann Junior High School.