The July 8 Metro article “Let the games begin” brought back a memory. In the late 1940s, when I was a young boy in St. Mary’s County, slot machines were legal (and everywhere) in the four southern counties of Maryland. The Maryland Charter of 1632 defined the boundary with Virginia as “the further bank of the [River of Pattowmack].” In Colonial Beach, Va. (as I recall), a pier had been built, separated from the river’s edge by a few inches of air gap, and hence legally in Maryland although accessible from Virginia by a footstep. I visited there once from St. Mary’s with my parents — my visiting great-aunt, with us, became entranced with the slots and was reluctant to leave.  

Robert McDonough, Gaithersburg

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