Toys With Us Forever

Is this the geriatrics ward? Let me get my Geritol and Metamucil and check it out. Shuffle shuffle shuffle cough wheeze.

I brought up the first picture and said, this is the first Barbie. Milady looked at it and said, yes, it sure is. She remembers. My little sister, who is about the same age as Barbie, had Barbie, Ken, the whole cast, the house, the car. Despite our best attempts to shield our daughter from such gender-biasing toys, she also always had a lot of the dolls (many inherited) and all the clothes. And shoes. Oh, the shoes!

It's a contest in my mind which is more painful to step upon barefoot in the middle of the night, a one-dot Lego or a Barbie high heel. Jacks beat both of those, of course. I'm sure I've stepped on all three. Repeatedly.

Don't remember what guns we ran around with as kids. Went through a lot of caps, I remember. Never enough things that went bang.

Didn't have the Kenner projector, but I did have a projector that would show View-Master disks on a wall. Not as cool as seeing them 3D in the viewer, but better for group viewing. We had a huge stack of the disks. Being 4th of 5 kids meant I benefited from some media-accumulation.

The 3-D viewer:


Magnetic drawing, and lift-to-erase drawing pads (the poor man's Etch-a-Sketch) - mostly played with those over at my buddy Tom's house. And I mean played with until those lift-to-erase boards would hardly take an image. Tom was 3rd out of 4 kids, so his house also had a lot of accumulated goodies.

Those paddleball sets pictured were the worst. Thin wood, tiny paddle, cheap rubber band which, if it didn't break, would stretch out. Seems t'me there were slightly better models which worked well and you could really get a steady rhythm and high count going. Maybe that's just my once upon a time imagination. Or maybe my older brothers did custom modifications.

Out at the Farm, as we called it as kids, there were games for when we were not out baking our brains in the Oklahoma summer sun. There were Pixy Sticks, dominoes, other old standards. And Cootie. There was some game you were supposed to play to assemble the bugs, but we usually just stuck parts together any weird way we could. Then the Farm house was abandoned for a quarter century. All those toys rotted away in a drawer in a cabinet. It was a punch in the gut when I tore the rot out and found the old toys in the ruins. That's the house we live in now.

Aside: The house had planters underneath the windows. When I was very young, I was playing with a toy metal car, dropped it into the shrubbery, and never could find it. Over the decades, the planters caused water to be funneled into the house. After we acquired the farm, I tore out those planters. I found the car and immediately remembered losing it, after not having thought about it for decades, That was a strange, deep feeling to make that time-travel connection.

I recall having a punching bag clown when I was really young. Probably didn't last long, as somebody got too rough with it. (Not that my brothers were ever hard on my toys.) Wish they'd kept it in good repair. As a kid, I had a real need to punch something frequently. Come to think of it, I still could use one. Punching bag rodeo clown. :O

Superballs were great. Dangerous. But great.