Duck Opener

Today’s Post comes from Bathtub Safety Officer Rafferty.

At ease, civillians!

But at the same time stay very alert, because there are people walking around our lakes and marshes carrying guns, and they’re looking for things to shoot! The Minnesota waterfowl season opened last weekend, and ducks have been in the news ever since.

As a Bathtub Safety Officer, I’m charged with keeping people informed about the hazards associated with slippery, wet, hard surfaces in and around the bathroom, which statistics show is The Most Dangerous Room In The House. You simply can’t combine the disparate elements of water, tile, porcelain, soap, and naked, vulnerable people without taking crazy risks. And this precarious situation was made even less safe by the introduction of rubber waterfowl into the bathroom environment – a move I opposed but people ignored my warnings and now the bathtub duck population has exploded, worldwide!

Where do they come from? No one seems to know! I am deeply worried that there is some sinister force behind the relentless spread of these creatures, which have no official taxonomy but I categorize them as “Bathtub Ebola”.

Rubber bathtub ducks are eye-catching distractions whose distinctive call (“Squeak!”) can be quite alarming to an unsuspecting bather. Unfortunately, these ducks only sound off when they are squeezed or stepped on, usually by a person who has soap in his eyes and is blindly grasping around for a towel. If you are in that situation it means you have probably already lost your balance and injury is imminent!

That’s why I’m declaring a Bathtub Duck season in Minnesota, which commences immediately and ends only when I say so, which is probably going to be never.

Under the guidelines I am making up right now, you can bag as many ducks as you like as long as you remove them from the bathtub area and either pen them up in a safe, non-slippery enclosure, or extract their squeakers and deflate them so they can be of no harm to innocent bathroom users. I realize that this will offend some who think there should be as many of these yellow floaters around as possible, because they are “fun”.

I ASSURE YOU, there is nothing “fun” about these dangerous creatures. Here are two examples:

A giant bathtub duck appeared in Seoul, South Korea this week and after dominating the landscape with its imposing, Godzilla-like presence, it began deflating – much to the delight of the local populace, many of whom took pictures of the weakened rubberfowl. But it has since been pumped up again by its masters, and the people who were momentarily released from its mezmerizing spell have once again fallen silent. Where is the Minnesota duck hunting population when we so desperately need it?

Duck_Comet_2

And scientists got the “go-ahead” this week to land a probe on a rubber-duck-shaped object hurtling through space. Which raises the question – could comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko be the extra-terrestrial source of this Flaxen Scourge? The notion that there is a Rubber Duck Mother Ship rocketing around our galaxy is an admittedly wild idea that can only be tested by landing a probe right on its head. I am not a violent person, but I admit I’m comforted by the thought that the first thing the Philae probe will do once it makes contact is thrust a space-harpoon into the comet’s (hopefully soft) head.

Only then will we begin to understand the true dimensions of what we are really dealing with!

Stay Alert!
B.S.O.R.

What was your favorite childhood toy?

102 thoughts on “Duck Opener”

  1. Rise and Shine Baboons!

    Love the giant rubber ducky picture! I also love BSOR choice of non-inflammatory terms “Bathtub Ebola”! Way to go BSOR–that term should keep things calm and prevent panic.

    Favorite childhood toy was really an ensemble. At age 4 I took on the identity of Annie Oakley, which was a TV show at the time, as well as a real historical character. I lived in a red cowboy hat, toy six shooters in a holster, and road a stick horse all about town–rescuing people.

    Not that different than my life now–just no cute outfit.

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    1. a dred hat some sishooters and its hi ho jacque the therapist who rode on the road on her way to the little red hacienda this morning for all you whacked out buckaroos and buckarettes

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    2. My cow girl outfit consisted of a hat, red tights, and a couple of six shooters in a gun belt. I liked hunting down my father and putting a couple of slugs in him. I preferred going without a shirt. I hated wearing shirts, for some reason. I think my favorite toys were my stuffed animals, though.

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    1. Well, the cute outfit is something that can always be added, Jacque. Rather than Annie Oakley, I was enthralled with Superman, who was also a real historical character (as far as I was concerned). And yes, there was a costume!

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        1. Yes, the cape was the best part and the most fun. It was the pant-leg to boots/shoes transition that was the problem – nothing really worked well there and whenever I looked at my feet it became obvious to me that I wasn’t really Superman. Good reason not to look down, I guess. But looking down was the whole reason for wanting to fly in the first place.
          It was all so complicated!

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  2. What first comes to mind is the real blackboard my dad made for us in the basement – bolted into the wall and everything. I was going to be a teacher, and my poor sister was my prey. We also played library…

    I had an outfit similar to yours, Jacque, but I was Dale Evans, and I had a Dale Evans watch to prove it.

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    1. Sister Cleo decided she wanted to be a teacher after one week of first grade. I was three grades behind her (but only 2 1/4 years younger) . So somewhere in the middle of her first grade year we started playing school every afternoon when she came home from school.We did that most days for the next 2 1/2 years.
      The school was unhappy about this for two reasons: 1) My parents did not send me to kindergarten (it became mandatory the next year) so they had told my mother how far behind I was going to be in school, which, after having already learned third grade, I was not. 2) I was very restless in school, as some boys are, and did not pay much attention but I could do everything they were teaching.

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      1. That’s the exact same age difference as between my sister and me; I’m the older. I’ve never been able to teach her anything. I think she’s genetically predisposed to resist learning anything from me. In fairness, I must admit that she’s done pretty well on her own despite not being a good student. Unlike me, she never liked school.

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        1. Cleo and I, or Cleo and Clyde (Cleo and Clyde, Cleo and Clyde, Cleo and Clyde), were extremely close all through our childhoods. My best friend was always her until junior high. We remained very close into our thirties.

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  3. Good morning. The first favorite childhood toy that comes to mind is lincoln logs. I really liked using these to build little log buildings and other things. I think they are sort of early versions of legos which were a favorite toy for my children and are now a favorite of my grandchildren.

    I also liked the old erector sets with their metal parts you could screw together with nuts and bolts. I have seen a number of kinds of more recently designed construction sets. I think the old style erector sets are better than most or all of the new designs.

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    1. Jim, I had an Erector set too, but mine was a source of shame. I could barely manage to cadge together a simple bridge, whereas some boys were creating sophisticated structures with motors and all kinds of stuff. For me, the Erector set was just the latest proof of the sad fact I was a loser!

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    2. My brother had an Erector set. I was not supposed to play with it, according to Brother, so he hid it in his closet when he was out of the house. This did not stop me. It only meant that I could only build things small enough to be constructed and deconstructed before he got back home…

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  4. My favorite toy? Examine my gravatar photo and then take a giant guess! I had a long series of cap guns when I was a kid. You put a roll of caps in them and then, when you pulled the trigger, a finger moved the strip of caps up so the hammer would drop on a fresh one.

    But my pride and glory was the last cap gun I owned, a Stallion 45. It was a perfect copy of the Colt Peacemaker and had six “bullets” you could load, just like the real thing. Loading it took some time. You had to cut the cap strip into individual pieces, then put them inside the bullet, and then of course the bullets were loaded through the gate into the cylinder. Loading took about 15 minutes.

    Then I’d sit cross-legged on the floor in front of our family radio, listening to my favorite cowboy shows. Since I had only six shots, I had to wait for the right moment to join the fight, blazing away six times when Hopalong Cassidy or whoever needed my help in a gunfight. And after the shooting was over I’d put my nose to the gun and suck in the musky smoke in my gun. The smell of an exploded cap could instantly return me to the 1950s.

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  5. Did not have one. Can remember very few toys. This would indicate to most people poverty, which is true, or restrictive parents. You can decide on this:
    My real toy was the woods. When I was four and five years old I would go off in the woods by myself for hours, out of my mother’s sight even in the winter. Is that restrictive?
    Something I wonder about from all this:
    My parents paid very little attention to popular culture. The only magazines in the house were farming magazine. My only playmates until the end of third grade were my brother and sister, 2 and 7 years older. So I knew nothing of popular culture except the adult radio shows my parents followed every evening, and two day-time soap operas.
    Were toys driven by the media and popular culture in the early 1950’s?

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    1. Clyde, the 1950s were the years when the term “teenager” was popularized and when marketers discovered youngsters as a group they could sell to. Toys have existed since time began, I suppose, but something dramatic happened in the 1950s as manufacturers realized that they could sell directly to kids (not just to the parents) and that television was a potent force for such sales. I think the startling success of Davy Crockett stuff in 1955 was the turning point, the time American business learned the economic power of this group.

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        1. Without TV how did they market toys? More to parents, I am sure. Must have been toy ads on radio, but I don’t remember it. My early childhood was not devoid of toys: I just don not remember them, which I think means I did not play with them much. So how did my parents choose the few toys they bought? Oops catalogs, I guess.
          How early did Sears start the Christmas catalog? How did Sears decide which toys were “hot”? I suppose most toys in the catalog of that era were the standard long-term things, like Jim’s Lincoln logs, dolls, your cap guns, Steve.
          I happened to be writing about all this right now and my mind was already asking these questions.

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        2. http://www.searsarchives.com/catalogs/history.htm/

          i remember the ads for crash cars and silly putty and slinky. but that was 60’s
          in the 50’s i would guess the marketing was at store level. we had bobs hardware store with the basement as toyland in the christmas months. he would tell us what was hot like the mills catalog. i dont think ill ever see mills the same after the election. if sam walton campaigned against the poor people how woulre it affect wal mart. if target said help the rich would increase yuppy sales. marketing has gotten more complex.

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    1. I used to ask the old people in my church whom I visited about their childhood, a standard thing to do in geriatric ministry. I would ask them about toys. All the women could remember dolls, simple dolls mostly. The boys had few memories of toys. One 90-year old I was visiting in his house on the shore, the bones of which were from his childhood, pointed at the shore and said, jokingly, “sticks and stones.” Then he thought about it and said, that they were toys to him.

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        1. Cleo, the missing brother, and I played in the woods. In part to be out of sight of my father, who thought boys playing was bad. There was always work to do. But what child does not want to be out of sight of their parents? We cut trails, built tree houses out of scrap lumber lying around the farm, rolled boulders off cliffs, built forts out of trees and brush.
          So who today would send three children ages 6, 9, and 13 into the woods with hatchets/axes and let them play in tree houses ten feet off the ground that they built themselves?
          Sorry. I am wandering into this topic because I am wondering about it for what I am writing.
          I am now going to go work on that other writing, for which I have writer’s block at the moment.

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      1. yep. my dad said the same thing. 5 kids and they might get a toy to share like a wagon or a truck he was youngest so he got last turn and it was easier to enjoy a stick

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      2. its a true step backward to protect the children of today from harm and not allow them to flal out of trees, hit someone with a hammer etc. they live in a womb of protection before the fact. gonna come back to whack em in another 25 years when the hands on throwbacks are all dead.

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  6. my favorite was my tractor. with the steel hood out in front and the metal steering wheel and a little lever that was down where the shifter was supposed to be . i think it was supposed to change the sound or something but i didnt have time for that it was jump on and peddle like the dickens off to where ever. i wore the wheels off it by the time i was 4. there was also an old rocking horse made of cast iron that was bigger than the little spring loaded critters and it had a spring that would reload each time you came around in a circle rocking forward and snapping it down as it went back to ge tto the top of the circle then you would snap it down and ge tthe cadence an dthe rythem going and i would listen to the records on the record player and ride that horse and go round and round and round…. til my grandfater came over and said it was broken and made my mom put it away because it was dangerous. he was a turd and an old fogie.
    we used to live right on the edge of civilazation with the farmers field across the street the woods next to that and the river on the other side of the woods. we never needed to go further than that for a variety of play areas. tree climbing, barge rope swinging, tree house building, bike rifing, crawling around in the houses being built playing baseball in the streets and football in the backyards, ray dewberry, chipper nastapol, scotty bowman laurie gregoire, mike herboldt it was a fun place to grow up. my bike and baseball glove were the indispensable things as life went on. we played ick up ball where the young kids and the old kids chose up teams and you would pitch against your own team until it was your turn to bat then it was someone elses turn to pitch, hide and seek, rummy, listening to the twins on the radio. kidhood in the 60’s was alright. too bad for these little twits with iphnes today. they are missing out.

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  7. Sorry to be so garrulous today. Good topic. The best game I ever invented was a form of “catch.” We lived in an ugly old Victorian revival thing that was a tall two-story house. I figured out that if we threw a tennis ball hard at the roof it would fly up in the air and come down on the other side. So we got on both sides of the house and began throwing the ball to each other, skipping it off the roof. I have a strong memory of shaking violently with excitement as I waited for the ball to sail high in the air and come toward me.

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  8. Much of what tim related above rings true for me as well. We played outside almost all the time. My memories from that time are so rich, full of fun activities that didn’t require expensive toys. We’d make our own bows and arrows, kites, hobby horses, camogie sticks and whatever else we needed. One exception, when I was in second grade dad bought me a pair of brand new roller skates that clipped onto my shoes; I was the envy of every kid at the boarding school the day they arrived. I remember walking to the train station to pick them up, and by the time I got back to school, it was time to do homework. I cried until the nuns relented and let me go out into the school yard for fifteen minutes to try them out. There I circled round and round – in a coat Sr. Marianne had insisted i wear – while all the other kids were watching from the upstairs window in the play room.

    This time of year, a gang of us kids would hang out by the highway waiting for the trucks hauling sugar beets to the processing plant . Every so often beets would bounce off the overloaded trucks. We’d retrieve them and carve them into lanterns much like American kids carve pumpkins. We’d fashion a handle out of a coat hanger or other piece of wire, and after it got dark we’d lift our lanterns in front of people windows. These memories are truly precious. Thanks for the inspiration, Dale, and to everyone for sharing these glimpses into the past.

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  9. Guess what? I have a cat. The little grey cat keeps coming back, walking in through my open door. She belongs to someone, as she has a little plastic collar, but she seems to like hanging out with me. This is perfect for me. I get a cat without paying for food or dealing with a litter box!

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    1. Are you familiar with the phrase “Thin edge of the wedge”? Pretty soon, you are going to have a roommate. If you get a chance, you should try to read the children’s book Six Dinner Sid, about a visiting cat.

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    2. I have now had 2 grey cats and can tell you they are very particular (at least the fluffy tailed ones). I do hope you realize the honor of being favored by a grey cat.

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  10. Crayons. Probably the toy that lasted the longest in my closet and was used most was the ice cream bucket full of crayons. Coloring books, plain paper, the backs of church bulletin covers from last year’s print run (my dad worked for a Lutheran printing company, so we often had boxes full of out-dated specialty color bulletins that churches would buy as their paper stock for Christmas services), nothing was sacred. I spent hours poring over the differences between blue-violet and violet-blue (there is a difference) and pondering burnt vs. raw sienna. Along with that, the easel I got when I was about 6 became another favorite: chalkboard on one side, painting easel on the other. Shavings and stubs became candles or were ironed between wax paper to become “stained glass windows.” I had to crack out colored pencils when I discovered the Altair Designs coloring books (higher end books with fractal-like designs that I would buy at places like the Walker Art Center book store)…but really, those pencils, to my mind, were just slightly-more-advanced crayons that could be sharpened better.

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    1. I remember in sixth grade, shortly after we got a TV, my mother bought me a Jon Gnagy drawing kit. I learned a great deal from the book. Seldom got to see him on TV because he was on when I was doing chores. But the book taught me about form and line, shading, various uses of the pencil. That may have been the best toy–is it a toy–I had. I wore it out. But once again I was ahead of the curve, now in junior high art classes. I was disappointed in what Miss Marvel (great name for an art teacher,except she made art drills and parts, and not the marvel of it) taught.
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jon_Gnagy

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  11. A favorite toy for a number of years during the fifties was something that I’ve never heard of or seen in places other than Denmark – hønseringe. Literally translated it means chicken rings. They were brightly colored plastic coils that originally were used to mark chickens so you could distinguish them by age. In the late forties, in the aftermath of WWII, they became popular as toys, and In the 1950s they started making them commercially as toys. Essentially they came in three different sizes, the largest of which had the circumference of a quarter. You could twist these coils together to make a long chain of them. You played with them much like you play marbles. If you were good at it, you could “win” your opponents rings. This is the best photo I could find to give you some idea of what I’m talking about:
    Illustrating how the LHC (doesn't) work

    As kids we were great collectors of stuff, Girls, especially, collected paper dolls, many of which could be cut from the backs of cereal boxes. We also collected fancy pins with tiny glass animals, flower or other objects that you’d display in pincushions, paper napkins, shiny colorful pictures (glansbilleder) – many of them of religious figures. I remember those as being the primary motivation for me going to Sunday school. I also collected marbles, and collectible cards known as Richs billeder. These cards came in small rectangular packages of a chicory additive for coffee, and these surely must have been among the early examples of marketing to children. All of these items were eagerly traded and collections showed off, compared, and coveted.

    As the daughter of a sailer who sent many letters home from exotic places, I was also an avid collector of stamps. Not in any organized or systematic fashion, I just liked the pretty pictures.

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    1. Lily, my 11-year-old-going-on-20 grand daughter, has done all the make and exchange things for three years. Used to be duct tape stuff. Our gift to her last years was a large assortment of duct tape that she went through by the end of school year. This year’s it’s embroidery thread to weave bracelets. There have been 2-3 others. All cool stuff. My sister was not a doll person, but she did have paper dolls.
      The woman on the deck above me, who sits out there and smoke all the time, asked me if Lily, whom she sees out on the lawn and woods in front of us, if Lily ever does not dance and sing. I told her that she was the tenth or so person to ask that. The answer is no, that always does, not that she is any good at it. Her birthday/Christmas gift this year will be a Karaoke machine. How Lily could it get.
      I asked my sister what toys she remembers for her and what for me. She remembers many for her, most of which I remember, but can only remember some big steel toy trucks, which we got used from someone. And tinker toys, which were my brother’s first.
      It would be fun to ask this of several nations, from China to England. My British aunt once told me years ago what were her toys in the 1920’s and 30’s in England. I remember dolls but not what else. Wish I did.
      Tell us more about Irish and Danish toys.

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  12. Favorite toy (of so many to choose from over the childhood years) was probably my road-racing track and cars. 1/32 scale cars and track (the “big” ones). Had a figure-8 over and under section plus another turn or two. I had 5 or 6 cars and would race them endlessly by myself, or against someone if another kid (or little brother) was around.

    If you allow games to be included in the general realm of toys, then without question my table hockey game with the flat metal players mounted on steel rods; much like this game:

    I had players from the six original NHL teams, each in their proper uniform, and we’d have epic battles between the Montreal Canadians and Boston Bruins or Chicago Blackhawks. I think my dad actually liked the game more than I did. Of course, his best friend played for the 1960 US Olympic hockey team, which won the gold medal, so I guess his enthusiasm was understandable.

    Chris in Owatonna

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  13. I still have most of my dolls and can easily bring to mind certain paper doll dresses, although I am certain all of those are long gone. I seldom had someone to play with, so those were mostly possessions, not actual toys that I played with.

    I had wonderful dress-up clothes that were hand-me-downs of my mother’s 50’s finery and best of all the old dining room curtains that were white nylon shot with gold that could be draped around oneself in all sorts of ways.

    Mostly, I ended up collaborating with my brother- combining the classic wooden blocks, the Hot Wheels tracks and the Legos to make what we called a “marble wash”, because we ran our collection of marbles through it all. Marbles were a thing of beauty as I recall them. We could never have enough of them.

    My mother had lovely toys, which is interesting considering that they were not well off by any means. Today, she has the toy washing machine and stove on a shelf in her laundry room- circa 1930’s. I just found one exactly like it online for $545. It being my mother’s , I am certain it is in excellent condition.

    My best “play” memories are probably more about games than toys…extended Monopoly games, the ancient Uncle Wiggly game that Google images tells me was circa 1916, and the decks of cards and and tins of pennies for intergenerational games of Michigan rummy.

    Put that on the “someday, I’ll write about that” list.

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    1. I have fond memories of that voice impossibly late on Saturday nights . I’m not that big of a jazz fan, but I did love to hear Leigh talk about it.

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    2. I’m sorry to hear that.
      I remember there used to be Jazz on both Friday and Saturday nights on MPR.
      First they dropped the Friday. Then Leighs show was cut so it ended at Midnight instead of 3AM.
      What a cool guy he was.

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    3. I sure enjoyed him
      He was sending out the vibe. I was thinking about him while I was listening to some old jazz tune and it turns out he was passing over to the other side while I was sharing the vibe. He was wonderful
      I never knew if his ne was Lea kahmen or lake Hammond when I listened to his shoe before the days of goggle for answers. I wondered but not enough to research it
      He and sue zellickdon or is it suze elleckson

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  14. Am I the only one that had LEGO’s?
    And this was back when they were just rectangular shape and not all the fancy stuff. Didn’t even have people. But it sure was fun.
    My brother had the erector set and, like Anna, he didn’t want me playing with it. And I only did a little. I remember the blue motor you could hook up.
    Grandma had Lincoln Logs… but only a few of them. And they were wore out.
    Course that’s when I wasn’t playing outside. In the woods.
    Oh, I had lots of toy machinery too.

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    1. I had Lego – again, bins of them in ice cream buckets. Built castles and houses and all sorts of things. A few of the doors and windows pieces, but never enough that they didn’t get fought over.

      Mentioning Grandma’s reminded me of the toy John Deere tractor and hay bailer that resided at my grandparent’s house. The bailer worked enough that you could shoot the styrofoam “bails” that came with it from the bailer to the wagon behind. Fun stuff.

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  15. in 1961 when i wa sin 1st grade the yankees ruled the world. mickey mantle , roger maris, whitey ford, yogi berra and they played the la dogers who had just recently left new york along with the giants. think of what a baseball center that was when all 3 were there palying to their own little parts of town.
    i was primed and ready for action and the twins just moved into town with those glorious uniforms and the likes of harmon killebrew (undoubtedly the greatest baseball name ever) bob allison, camillio pasquel, earl batty and i lived in the neighborhood of kids who had all just moved into the subdeiviion the year before from where ever it was we all moved to the suburbs from. we ahd a brand new grade school 2 blocks to the south but we couldnt wait for the teams to choose themsselves to choose themselves so we always had a game of 500 hitting the ball for points to the guys out in a line until one got 500 points. 50 for a fly ball 25 for a one hopper and then it was your turn to bat. two sticks on the ground became 1st and second base, steal second or get picked off and let the next kid have a go at it. my glove and my bat were all the toys i needed during the summer months and my bike. today if a kid gets out of sight the parents call the police . back then we got up at 6 watched sigfried the cartoon show mc from outer space until it was 7 and then headed out for adventures. every bodys mom would offer a piece of peanut butter toast as we headed out and lord knows where we were going but we were going that was for sure. the bike roller coaster ( we had 2) was a vacant lot with hills and obsticles you would ride around and around until the bike bpath that was worn into the dirt piles got too grooved so the thing needed maintenance form some of the older guys. wed park out bikes over by mark andersons house and hike off to the riverbottoms where there were springs and streams and wild flowers and wed find skunk and racoons and badgers. the corn maze across the street where mrs staples rented out her fields to me haas. we never got in any trouble for hiding and running and playing in the corn field although i am sure we knocked over a stalk or two as we ran full speed for one row to the next and hit the dirt in a low spot to hide form the other kid looking for you. the baseball field was my main home that summer and the summer after that for 5 or 6 years in a row but the distractions were wonderful. the neighborhood in those days was a couple of city blocks. you never went to the neighborhood a mile away that was someone elses neighborhood we had our rope swing , they had theirs, we had our baseball diamond they had theirs, we had our spot to build forts they had theirs and the neighborhood kids , the kids who were good ball players the knopkes the collins ray dewberry scotty bowman and all the kids at the school who came to play box hockey and 4 square, those 2 games went on steady for all of june july and august, they never ever stopped. chess and checkers making skits and coloring posters and art projects, the options when i was a kid were so varied and alurring that there was never a moment of being alone. we used to have kids who werent good at sports or socializing and we did what we could to accomadate from what i can remember. we cared for eveyone and understood that everyone has a different set of gifts and talents to go through life with and we all did our best and tried to thin of stuff that didnt require too much running or jumping, too much dancing or vocal performances but all were welcome and the toys were not the deal, the way to enjoy life was the deal. we were pretty good at it.

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    1. What marvelous childhood memories you have, tim. One thing you haven’t mentioned but that I’m fairly certain you had were stilts. I can remember my dad making me a pair. They got a lot of use. Another thing we did was put on circuses with performances of various kinds. Everything from singing to acrobatics. We weren’t very skilled at any of it, but it sure was fun, and for whatever reason, kids were always willing to pay 25 øre to see us. What a hoot.

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        1. My stilts weren’t THAT high, but dad had made them so that you could move from a lower level to a higher level while standing on them. Once you mastered that, he’d move both sets of footrests a notch higher.

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    2. Great memories, tim. Like you, I didn’t have many toys. Like you, we engaged in many outdoor activities, all without adult supervision, all more or less invented on the spot. I was lucky enough to be a kid in a time when every neighborhood had a high population of kids more or less my age, so we had more than enough playmates right “next door” or so it seemed. In my hometown kids tended to concentrate in the alleys, for adults didn’t bother us there.

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  16. stilts were around. my dad worked construction and would bring home the boards every now and again
    pretty easy , pount a nail in and put a foot peg on one side and try to make it about the same height on the right leg and the left but then what??? walk around ok …. then what??? walk around some more. be 2 feet off the ground? give em to my little sister and watch her crash into the ground? not enough variations. stilts are good for clowns in a parade or for fixing the spots ont he ceiling if you can tie them to your legs otherwise…. ill leave them for you

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  17. Another “toy” that could be scrounged from piles of debris if you got lucky was the rim of an old bicycle wheel. With that and a stick to propel it you could run all over the neighborhood trying to keep it upright.

    What’s Holly up to? I had expected her to have posted this by now:

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  18. Probably my favorite doll, or the blocks Dad made for us painted red and yellow, or the SWING. I do remember my favorite of the toys my baby sister got for Christmas – a jack-in-the-box that played Pop Goes the Weasel. And I remember when Joel was 2 my folks gave him that Fisher Price “lawnmower” that makes the pretty jingly sound as you roll it. They were so pleased because the could now afford and give it, whereas when I was little they couldn’t.

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  19. Childhood was about making friends and and keeping on their good side so you could explore whatever toys and games they and their siblings had. The grass was always greener at someone else’s house. Had a neighbor whose older brother had the big set of Legos. I remember Uncle Wiggly and Life, too. We had Monopoly. Everybody had Monopoly. And Candyland.

    A couple of years ago at a garage sale I came across a plexiglass cube with the name Milton Bradley on it. I instantly recognized it. It was a maze that you dropped a marble into and rolled through to the other side, avoiding the dead ends along the way. I bought it and brought it home. Put a marble in and it was a little weird how familiar the twists and turns seemed, 50 years after I’d seen it last.

    The Minnesota History Center has an exhibit running through January 4th on toys of the 50’s, 60’s, and 70’s. I haven’t been to it yet, but I am certain I’ll get there for it.

    Liked by 2 people

  20. I realize I’m commenting after the weekend, but this was my first chance to get online and read everything, since my pc was down most of the weekend.

    When I was in the 2nd and 3rd grade, I was the envy of my friends becase of my Barbies. I didn’t have a lot of them and this was before there were thousands of plastic accessories, but my Aunt Patsy, who was a professional seamstress and knitter, made me the BEST Barbie clothes of all time. Beautiful little sweaters, skirts, pants, swimsuits, even a wedding dress. Gorgeous. There wasn’t a Barbie Playhouse back then (and even if there had been, my parents certainly wouldn’t have sprung for it) so I took everything out of my chifferow (sp?) and pasted paper furniture on the inside walls. I still have the chifferow in my attic and you can still see the remains of the paper furniture to this day. That’s the main reason I keep it!

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