You Saw it Here Last

Boomers, take heart: our toys are back, prominently displayed at my local pharmacy/gift shop/post office. I like to think that the young kids in our lives would enjoy them as much as we did. Our toys of the 50s fostered skills different from the skills gained from computer and video games, and no one ever worried about our yo-yos or jacks instilling pathological behavior and addictions—not that this is to say my generation is immune to pathological behavior and addiction.

I shared a moment with age mate Connie, who works at our back-in-time pharmacy, reminiscing over how much we had both enjoyed playing jacks and learning yo-yo tricks, assembling architectural wonders with Tinker Toys, and drawing with Etch-a-Sketches. We were also encouraged that tea sets have endured through the generations, even if the ones sold today aggrandize the presumptive virtue of recycled plastic.

Being, I suppose, of a radically inflexible—or perhaps an inflexibly radical–demeanor, I tend both to suspect change, and to wonder what kept it from coming sooner. I think our best toys at every age move us into a resilient space of radical flexibility. But as time goes on, I’m just not sure I’m always comfortable there.

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4 Comments

Filed under Action & Being

4 responses to “You Saw it Here Last

  1. Heidi

    I love Lincoln Logs. I would play with them still (we didn’t have them, and other children were always playing with them at school.)

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  2. Jane

    I love it! I had everything but the etch-a-sketch; played jacks by the hour on our hardwood floors. Muffie Dolls and a Miss Revlon Doll, with her sophisticated wardrobe, were also big in my toy collection, when I wasn’t listening to my read-along 45 rpm records with accompanying picture books (anyone remember Bozo Under the Sea?). Thanks for the reminder of a simpler time for kids. I’m sure our imaginations were better for it.

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    • An element common to all generations has been things with which kids could play alone or with friends. But now there seems to be a third alternative I don’t think existed in “our day,” Jane: the “playgroup” compromised of strangers. Somehow I do not imagine such a thing improving my socialization process–another term absent from the lexicon of our young years.

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