Boys And Their Toys

- jim Young

“When I am grown to man’s estate, I shall be very proud and great.
And tell the other girls and boys, not to meddle with my toys.” - Robert Louis Stevenson

Growing up as an only child can be lonely sometimes. I wasn’t an only child myself, however I was the only boy in a house full of girls and I sometimes think it might be similar. Don’t get me wrong. My sisters, both older and younger, were great friends and we all enjoyed many happy times together, but as the only boy, I also spent a lot of time on my own.

Those times spent on my own were divided between my pets and my toys. 

My loyal and faithful companion “Punky”, a Heinz 57 mutt was almost always at my side. But I also enjoyed the company of hamsters, rabbits, mice and rats (both domestic and wild) turtles, snakes, birds, fish, sea monkeys, you name it, I had it. 

Except for a pony and a Bengal Tiger. Those were two pets my parent’s prohibited me from having.

Even when Gordie Tapp was offering a Bengal Tiger as 1st prize in a sponsor’s contest on TV, my father made it very clear that if I won, I would have to accept the alternate cash prize being offered instead.

And then there were my toys. I have many fond and vivid memories of the many toys I was blessed with as a child, some of which I still have.

Some I parted with willingly and some just seemed to disappear. I remember one evening as a young teen going into the basement where my mother was rifling through my little sisters’ toy box.

“Whatcha doing?” I asked.

“I’m getting rid of some of Gina’s and Lori’s toys that they don’t play with anymore while they’re sleeping,” my Mother replied proudly as if she was performing a good deed.

Suddenly it struck me. “THAT’S what happened to my yellow plastic trumpet with the red keys!” My mind flashed back to the last time I remembered seeing my trumpet in the toy room in the basement of my Grandmother’s house that we were renting. It was last seen in that very same toy box.

From then on, I was much more diligent in keeping track of my toys on a daily basis.

Growing up in the 50s and 60s was a great time to be a boy. From meccano sets to tinker toys, lincoln logs, mini-brix, Dinky Toys, Matchbox cars, View-Masters, Slinkies, cowboy guns, Kenner’s girder and panel building set, steam engines, electric trains and racing cars, Zorro and Lone Ranger outfits, model birds, cars and planes and so much more.

Vintage Toys from the 50s and 60s

I remember clearly one Christmas Morning in the late 60s looking around as my sisters, older and younger, opened their presents. Most of their gifts were articles of clothing but still there were smiles on their faces. Apparently my sisters’ all LIKED getting clothes for Christmas and I was as confused as the Grinch when he discovered stealing the Who’s Christmas presents didn’t put a damper on their Christmas.

Looking down at my gifts of mostly toys, except for the predictable pair of socks from my Aunt Nenny, I slowly shook my head and gave thanks that I had been born a boy.

Yes, my friends… Those were the days.

- 30 -

Do you have some pictures or memories of the proverbial “good old days” that you would like to share? If so, please send them by clicking on this link, Those Were The Good Old Days.


 

Comments

Stuff others read

It's Time To Tighten Your Belt

Published in The Great North Arrow, August 1, 2023: Names, Names, Names (Are You A Diminutive Of...)