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I Want My Old Etch-A-Sketch . . .Now!

Updated on November 4, 2011
THIS LOOKS LIKE THE IDEAL SCENE ON ANY CHRISTMAS MORNING. BUT I RECALL WHEN MY CHRISTMAS MORNING CAME WHEN I WAS A CHILD IT WAS A HURRIED, FRANTIC RACE TO SEE WHAT 'ONE' NEW TOY I HAD RECEIVED.
THIS LOOKS LIKE THE IDEAL SCENE ON ANY CHRISTMAS MORNING. BUT I RECALL WHEN MY CHRISTMAS MORNING CAME WHEN I WAS A CHILD IT WAS A HURRIED, FRANTIC RACE TO SEE WHAT 'ONE' NEW TOY I HAD RECEIVED.

A Few Of The Old Fashioned Toys From My Christmas Mornings Many Years Ago:

MY ALL-TIME NUMBER ONE FAVORITE TOY: ETCH-A-SKETCH
MY ALL-TIME NUMBER ONE FAVORITE TOY: ETCH-A-SKETCH
MATTEL TRUCK AND CAR
MATTEL TRUCK AND CAR
MR. POTATO HEAD
MR. POTATO HEAD
RADIO FLYER WAGON
RADIO FLYER WAGON
SLINKY
SLINKY
CHECKERS
CHECKERS
SCHWINN BIKE
SCHWINN BIKE

I remember it like it was many years ago. You thought I was going to say 'like it was yesterday,' didn't you? No. That would have been a cop-out in quality writing to you, and I would not want to have that on my conscience.


It was Christmas, 1961. Simple. No glitter. Except our live Christmas tree that my dad had found in the woods on our property. The glitter was a box of factory-made aluminum icicles and our lights came from a now-vintage, forgotten memory, The Yellow Front, a store in Hamilton, Alabama, where I grew up (and live now) that stocked all types of toys, decorations, groceries, clothing, home wares, it was the Walmart of its day. In 1961, my dad could actually afford, with his sharecropping money, to buy us the needed Christmas tree decorations that made us feel like we were living 'uptown.' Important. Accepted members of Hamilton society. I even took a bath on Christmas Eve to commemorate the aluminum icicles and Christmas tree lights.


I don't think I will elaborate about the details leading up to our first big Christmas. That might be a bit aloof, and if you ever met me, you would know that aloof is not how I am known by my friends. I think I will just tell you how I felt on 'that' Christmas morning, 1961, to actually have "a" gift. I know the feeling all too well of not having anything under the tree on Christmas morning, but I learned something from this painful scene. If you don't expect anything, and don't get anything, it doesn't hurt all that much.


I don't know what other boys and girls in Hamilton, or the country, for that matter, were opening on Christmas morning, 1961. I never took time to find out. The one and only thing I was focused-on was my solitary gift. My brand-new Etch-A-Sketch that 'Santa' had brought me. This is what my mom told me as I asked innocently, "Where did this come from, mama?" My dad laughed. My sister and her husband laughed. I think I might have cried some. But I don't remember.


Etch-A-Sketch called on me, and all children who received this 'marvel of toy engineering,' to do things. Actually move our hands. Use our eyes. To help create numerous sketches of dogs, cats, people, homes, and mountains. In 1961, children didn't know what a personal computer, laptop, iPad, iPhone or sometimes a regular telephone was. When we received a gift on Christmas, we were genuinely happy. To our bones. And told our parents how happy we were to have received a gift. In my case, Etch-A-Sketch, that I thought was the design of some secret, high-up government department who dealt in complex machinery. I was all thumbs (no pun intended) when it came to mastering the Etch-A-Sketch. I didn't do like some spoiled kids I knew and throw my gift on the floor and stomp way with my lips stuck out. No. I, for some reason, never gave up. I kept at it. And at almost-dusk on that very Christmas day, I managed to create something that to me, looked very much like a cat. Some in my family said it was a dragon. I held onto the fact as I fell asleep that night that I had actually sketched a cat. It's name was "Leonard."


On Christmas Day(s) on from 1961, even now in 2011, I can fondly recall the pure, unadulterated thrill of getting maybe a truck or car from the Mattel Toy Company that also sponsored some Saturday afternoon kid's show on our black and white Philco television that I was, sometimes allowed to watch when I wasn't busy with homework, chores, and just being a wide-eyed boy in the swiftly-changing country we were living in. I loved Mattel toys. The replicas of Winchester rifles, gun and holster sets, those made a lot of us boys in 1961 a real, true-blue, God-fearing, bunch of flag-waving cowboys.


Mr. Potato Head, a weird and wacky toy, to be honest, came into my life a few years later and to my amazement, I actually had an easy time of being very appreciate of this toy. It was big fun taking him apart. Putting him back together again. Making my own designs with his eyes, nose, and mouth. I never received a Mrs. Potato Head and thank God for that. I grew up mostly being a simple boy who was at ease with things the way they were. And should be. I freaked out at the first sign of change. And the words, 'new,' and 'improved,' why? I don't know. They were only words, but when they applied to new toys, I was frightful. Cautious. Afraid that I would be left behind by my few friends who loved new toys. And could operate them with the smoothness of Folger's black coffee on a bitterly-cold Alabama morning. I cherished my Mr. Potato Head. For years. As years went by, I lost him somewhere in one of the many moves our family made so my dad could make more money at better jobs. As a simple man of 57, I still miss my Mr. Potato Head today.


Previously, I mentioned Mattel Toys. I want to briefly, talk about how they really 'stuck it to me,' by misleading me in their Saturday morning ads they had strategically placed in my Bugs Bunny and Friends Cartoon Show. I am not singling-out Mattel Toys. Other toy giants saw a good thing in advertising in cartoon shows, so they ran their ads along with Mattel. But one Mattel ad in particular, caused me to have fire coal in my stomach. Their ad talked about an electric NFL football game. I wanted one. Then. Couldn't go another day without one. And my mom, bless her saintly heart, bought me one at the Dime Store in Hamilton. That was the store's real name. We didn't have a conventional 'Five and Dime' store. Just a dime store. I loved this NFL game. I played mostly against myself. And sometimes myself beat 'me,' as the small, realistic NFL football men danced, gyrated and ran amuck when I threw the black, hand-held electronic switch. It was great fun. My one-time childhood buddy, Rick Stidham, taught me how to 'pass' the soft, cushioned thing shaped like a football. I was getting pretty good at this game. Then Mattel 'pulled the rug from underneath my feet,' by introducing their new toy: Mattel's Hand-Held Football Game! My days of enjoying my Mattel NFL game with the green, steel playing field and working scoreboards, were over. Everyone had a Mattel Hand-Held Football Game. I was no exception. I learned to love this gizmo. But I sensed inside with the introduction of this 'new wave' of toys, that the special, genuine happiness shown by kids on Christmas mornings from then on would be special, but not as special as when we had our first Etch-A-Sketch.


Now I finish this sad, heart-wrenching story by a final look back at a few more classic, vintage toys that I still remember. And pray to God that some sensible-minded toy engineer somewhere in some toy company, will think to bring back some original toys like we grew up with.


Toys such as:


  • Radio Flyer Wagons - what fun I had with mine. I hauled dirt, wood sticks, and my young nieces when they were acting right when they visited our home. There is nothing wrong, in my opinion, with original toys for kids. And, I hope I do not make all of our computer-geniuses angry at this statement, "but there is nothing wrong with children moving around, using their hands, feet, and yes, minds, to enjoy their toys.


  • Slinky - what an ingenious toy! I, and all kids who had a slinky, spent countless hours 'walking' this toy down stairs, through our hands, down inclines. What a great way to spend some quiet time. This toy, like all the vintage toys in this piece, do not harm the ozone, pollute our air or water and do not plant evil seeds of destruction in our children's minds. Please, someone, anyone, bring back the original Slinky, and do away with the scaled-down version I had the misfortune of viewing in a store somewhere in Tupelo, Mississippi.

  • Checkers - now this is a game for kids. And adults. Simple. But complex. The only moving parts are the checkers in colors of red and black. This toy, of sorts, is very-valuable. In my unsolicited opinion. Checkers teaches something you, I, and most people are in dire need of: Patience. Plus, checkers teaches us two other valuable things: A. to slow down and B. think about what we are doing. Thank God for checkers.

  • Schwinn bikes - this innovation, the upgraded bicycle in its racy colors, chrome and sometimes colorful plastic tassels coming from the red plastic handles on the handlebars, helped kids like me to have a great boost of self-esteem. You would normally, at first glance, think that a common bicycle is not capable of doing that for children. Well, in my case, I was not a very-confident kid. I won't lie. I feared things like the bicycle. But the natural wisdom that my dad was blessed with, saved me from a life of having no confidence. He bought a new bicycle, I think it was a Schwinn, at our local Western Auto store. (Remember those?) And if he had bought me a car at that age, I couldn't have been more happy. I washed and kept my new red bike with chrome fenders polished almost weekly. I loved that bike. Even with the two, near-fatal wrecks I had with it on a highway that ran near our home--I still loved my bike. And slowly, with much practice of my riding skills, my self-confidence began to grow. I will always be grateful to my dad, and my new red bicycle for teaching me what self-confidence means.

Now on Christmas mornings, sometimes evenings, I watch as my three grand kids open their huge piles of presents at the speed of light and ask this question after opening one present of many, "What else do I have, paw paw?" Such innocence. Such honesty. And expectation.


Part of me wishes my grandchildren had grew up with 'one' Etch-A-Sketch or 'one' Mattel truck. While another part of me is grateful that my grand kids, as much as they get on Christmas, will be little and young but once.


Just let them enjoy their numerous gifts. And leave the recalling of Christmases past to old geezers like me.

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    • Nellieanna profile image

      Nellieanna Hay 5 years ago from TEXAS

      Ah, yes. Those wondrous days of only one or two Christmas gifts were like magic. Being a girl, mine were often "a" doll - maybe a Shirley Temple or Sonia Henie or a 'baby doll' that really took a bottle and wet its diaper. As I got a bit older, I liked "Story-Book Dolls" - which resembled the "Little Bo Peep" & others advertised on your hub here. And then an extra special present might be a little doll house with little furniture just their size, a tea set or a little kitchen cabinet or stove just my size. There might also be some coloring books and crayons, some paper dolls and maybe a few art supplies - (kids' watercolors or colored pencils) - from my siblings.

      But surely the best gift ever was a Junior-G-Man car: - one I could sit in, steer with its steering wheel and pedal up and down the sidewalk! (The reason it wasn't a girlish one was that the Junior G-Man one was the one on sale and Mother never passed up a bargain!)

      I loved that car better than anything! It was white with green racing stripes and red-letters proclaiming what an official car it was. It was probably before your time & G-Men (or 'Government Men', the equivalent of T-Men or 'Treasury Men' - and eventually FBI and CIA Agents) had great respect and awe afforded them. And I basked in the glow of all that respect. And best, - my car had a machine gun mounted on the hood! (See, I was never allowed to ride any two-wheeled things so my trike and that car were my pride and joy! (In fact, I didn't drive a car till I was 40!)

      But no one pushed me around in my G-Man car! Nosirree! I was about 4, I think,(and I was fairly pushable!) and it gave me the kind of self-confidence your red bicycle gave you!

      Like you, I feel a little sad when the great-grandkids get so much stuff, they hardly have a moment to look over one thing till another is thrust at them. Ever since he could sit up alone, that's been how it's been for Logan, George's great-grandson. Last year, he had countless electronic things all over the place, including an iPod Touch, and complete Univ. of Texas decor for his room and his own bathroom, every kind of toy imaginable, a bike, money, gift cards to get music for the iPod, etc. etc. I had given him a little spiral notebook with a picture of his favorite team on it and a case with some writing implements in it - and guess what I saw him off doing soon afer the wrappings were picked up? - Writing scores, outlining plays or something in that notebook! haha. Made me feel kind of good.

    • kenneth avery profile image
      Author

      Kenneth Avery 5 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      DEAR FRIEND, NELLIEANNA, I have really missed YOU and YOUR INSIGHTFUL comments. Like this one. That made me feel sad and good at the same time. I can just see you in your Jr. G-"person" Car patrolling the neighborhood for lawbreakers. Those,Nellie, WERE the TRUE good old days. And that capper, Logan using the spiral notebook YOU gave him to draw plays and things. YOU Should feel good at that And you shoud have taken his photo to remember that moment. Oh, I almost forgot. One year, when our first grandaughter, Aleixis was about three, she of course, "made out like a bandit" with lots of toys and things, but I remember, no one watching her but me as she was talking to one of the boxes one of her dolls came in and had the best time with the BOX, not the doll. Now, Alexis is 10, and has an imagination that maybe one day, she can be a hubber with us. That would be a great idea, right? I am asking YOU for advice before I sell her on the idea. Thank you, DEAR Nellieanna, my DEAR friend, for THIS and all of your special remarks. And for being a GREAT friend! Highest regards, KENNETH (Santa's second cousin on Mrs. Clause' side). LOL

    • shea duane profile image

      shea duane 5 years ago from new jersey

      Wow, you have a wonderful memory! those radio flyer wagons... so much fun rolling down the hill and crashing! And I now own a Schwinn Bike, a pink beach coaster brake bike.... my first bike was a turquoise schwinn barbie bike hand me down! it was the coolest bike in the universe. Thanks for a great hub!

    • mary615 profile image

      Mary Hyatt 5 years ago from Florida

      Hi fellow Old Geezer! We have SO much in common. I played with every toy you mentioned and can still remember the happy memories around them. I am now looking for a "little red wagon" to go in my yard to hold plants. All this stuff they make now is cheap plastic, nothing like it used to be. Thanks for this great Hub. You have a great way with words. Your Southern Friend, Mary

    • Modern Greetings profile image

      Modern Greetings 5 years ago

      Gah, now I'm completely nostalgic. Great hub!

    • kenneth avery profile image
      Author

      Kenneth Avery 5 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      October 28, 2011/3:51 p.m./CST

      Dear shea, "THANK YOU SO MUCH for your sweet comment! And I ask that you KEEP your Schwinn bike you have now in good condition for someday it might be worth a lot to a collector of REAL toys! I do SINCERELY Appreciate YOUR uplifting comments. I just hope that I can be worthy of all the nice things YOU say." Kenneth

    • kenneth avery profile image
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      Kenneth Avery 5 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      October 28m, 2011/3:54 p.m./cst

      HELLO "Ms Geezer, My Special Southern Belle," Mary! Good for you, my friend for not only knowing about these toys, but playing with them. How good this makes this old man feel! Thank YOU, sweet Mary615! Sincerely, Kenneth

    • kenneth avery profile image
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      Kenneth Avery 5 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      October 28, 2011/3:56 p.m./cst

      Hi, Modern Greetings! Nicet to meet you. And so sorry for making you feel nostalgic. Imagine how "I" felt as my memories of this time-gone-by in my life left my mind and went onto this story. Sad. That is my word. But Thank YOU for the warm comment on this hub. Seasons's Greetings, early, Kenneth!

    • Nellieanna profile image

      Nellieanna Hay 5 years ago from TEXAS

      Kenneth - tell Alexis that one year I named the doll I got "Fragile" because that's what the mailing box she came in said on it! haha.

      And if she has writing abilities and interests, HP might be a good idea, though I'd advise her to wait a few years. She can be writing a lot in the meanwhile though. She might have a talent for poetry or stories - she can try all sorts of projects. My friend and I wrote scripts for our dolls to act out all the time. We also designed clothes for them and all sorts of creative uses of our wild imaginations.

      And we made up & told stories - like ghost stories at Halloween! So encourage her imagination to express itself - and encourage her to learn the mechanics of writing - the spelling and grammar! A lot of that is learned by reading - so fun books for her age and interest level help. She can get a library card and read up a storm. They make good gifts too. Heck, you may have a budding writer on your hands! Or some other kind of artist.

      Of course, back then, all the toys weren't gifts, per se, either. We were always just creating things to play with which put our imaginations to work. I remember making little carts and wagons by lashing a wooden Velveeta cheese box onto a skate! Those wooden boxes may not still have been in use when you were a kid, but maybe those skates with the flat top and hooks on the sides to hold the sole of your shoe onto them were - those were handy for anchoring the box on there. I wasn't a good skater, anyway. Every time I took a tumble, I seemed to break a bone, which got to be discouraging.

      Vegetable crates made good doll houses, also. We were quite creative. We never ran out of ideas for things to do and to play. Isn't that what childhood is for? Lots of discovery and self-discovery. . .

    • Pollyannalana profile image

      Pollyannalana 5 years ago from US

      It was a rule that me and my four younger brothers got a piece of clothes with our Christmas present and I carried that on with my kids and truthfully although I was in no need of clothes, I always loved that best and never liked dolls being a tomboy but I guess my parents died never knowing that because I would have never hurt them telling them. You write very heartwarming articles, sure glad to have you aboard! Voting you up now. And across.

    • kenneth avery profile image
      Author

      Kenneth Avery 5 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Saturday, Oct 29, 2011/12:55 a.m./cst

      Dear Nellieanna . . ."THANK YOU, DEAR FRIEND, for your warm comment. And today, above date, I will see Alexis and tell her what you said. But she is already a veraciouis reader and was telling just this evening, how I was using sentence fragments instead of colonizing my nouns in sentences. This from a 5th grader, 10 years old. Yes. She, and you confirmed this, is going to do something in the writing or poetry field. And as for your warm and loving trip down "Vintage Toy Lane," I can remember my dad taking an empty spool that once held sewing thread, then using a stick, rubber band and a piece of soap, and designing for me a homemade tractor that I LOVED so much. And using lumber for guns, playing "Army" with my grammar school pals, and other vintage imaginary games. I miss those days. I really do. But thanks to you, you are making my days gone by so refreshing. And (re)memorable. Have a peaceful weekend, my dear friend. Sincerely, KENNETH

    • hot dorkage profile image

      hot dorkage 5 years ago from Oregon, USA

      I remember my etch-a-sketch. I was about 8 and I got really good with it. We were like you. We got to ask for ONE toy from Santa Claus. Some of our classmates even back then got huge piles of stuff. We felt morally superior, but still a little envious.

    • kenneth avery profile image
      Author

      Kenneth Avery 5 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      "THANK YOU KINDLY,Pollyannalana, for the sweet comment on this hub. I just pray about the things I present. And take no credit. That goes to My Maker. And I appreciate YOU, my friend, and your comments, and your votes. And I owe you a Sincere Apology for I read a comment I made on James Watkins Jimmy Carter piece and you had left a comment saying something about people being banned left and right and you would not go further for you knew how that made "him," James, feel. I thought you meant me. Believe me. I am NOT self-absorbed. I thought that my comment on his piece might have angered YOU and I WOULDNT do that to save me from Hades! I like you too much. And all of my followers. So look beyond my ignorance and forgive my human flaws. Sincerely, Kenneth

    • kenneth avery profile image
      Author

      Kenneth Avery 5 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Hi, hot dorkage! I know what you mean, friend. Hey, if you had an Etch-A-Sketch now, could you recreate some of your artwork, and . . .photo it into a hub? Think about this idea. What a novel way to talk about a toy of days gone by in MY lifetime. You do not look old enough to know that much about Etch-A-Sketches. I am not being forward. Just honest. Thanks for the sweet comment. May God look down on you and smile. Sincerely~~~Kenneth. PS how about them Cardinals?

    • Pollyannalana profile image

      Pollyannalana 5 years ago from US

      Ah, kenneth please never think that and I never go after anyone. I say what I believe and I made a lot of people mad saying gay was wrong and gay pastors are and so you may have many people trying to convince you I am bad but believe me I go by the Holy Bible and only scream at the government and people who can't see through them and I never go around hunting people down to make slanderous comments. They are at my hubs for all who want to read who I am. I always use scripture and they are calling God a liar not me since I use His words. OK I am sure you didn't want me saying this much and you can delete it, it won't offend me, but just had to let you know to see who people are for yourself instead of listening to others. It is the fair thing to do and you seem a fair and fine man.

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 5 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Ken........great HUB!! I'm glad you wrote about my very first computer, the ETCH-A-SKETCH!!! LOL

    • Storytellersrus profile image

      Barbara 5 years ago from Stepping past clutter

      Kenneth, I cannot remember a single toy I received at Christmas! Isn't that strange? I am certain I got one or two. I do remember oranges in our stockings. And one year my brother got a bike- I know this because my dad took a photo of it. But maybe that was for his birthday. I must have received a book or two because I loved books. I had a Barbie doll and a Ken doll (was that you?) My mom often made me Barbie clothes. I find it so strange that I cannot remember one Christmas gift. I lusted after a Shirley Temple doll but we couldn't afford such extravagances.

      I do remember our amazing Christmas pageants, though. Every year, our church put on a huge extravaganza, complete with pieces from the Messiah, Carol of the Birds, and other Classical pieces. Then there were the flashlight candles. How I adored carrying mine, as my children's choir processed into the sanctuary and sang along the edges of the pews. As a reward for our long rehearsals, we always got a box of hard candy. This was a delight. We poured over the items inside the box, counting, trading for our favorites as with Halloween candy.

      But mostly music, always music in my life.

      Thanks for the nostalgia.

    • Becky Katz profile image

      Becky Katz 5 years ago from Hereford, AZ

      Kenneth, you brought back memories. My great-aunt, who didn't have any children, looked upon us as her grandchildren too. She always gave us something for our beds. Pillows, sheets, blankets, bedspreads. We got something from her every year and by the time we moved out of our parents home, we had enough blankets to make a dozen beds.

      My grandmother always gave us clothes. Helped get us through the second half of the school year.

      My mom and dad got us sleeping bags so we could use them camping. They got us bikes, dolls, and many other things. And every year, my mom got us a craft gift. Something to make and enjoy. When I mentioned it to her when I was in my thirties, she laughed. She didn't even realize that they did that every year. It was an accidental tradition that we all enjoyed so much.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Isaac Weithers 5 years ago from The Caribbean

      Never had any of these toys, but this is such good reading. Says much about you Kenneth, as a fun family man. You grand-kids are blessed to have you. Happy Christmas past (for you) and present (for them) this year!

    • breakfastpop profile image

      breakfastpop 5 years ago

      I loved all of these toys. My favorite was a giant chicken that laid an egg!

    • kenneth avery profile image
      Author

      Kenneth Avery 5 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Oct. 31, 2011/9:55 a.m./CST

      Dear Pollyannalana, I would never delete YOU for what you state. And get this: I am in total-agreement with what you said in your comment to ME about what is wrong and what is not. And I DO NOT think that you are a person who goes after people either. You are to be admired for your stance(s), and I do just that. Admire you and stand at your side, glady I might add, to support YOU! And thank you very much for your delightful comment. Have a great day and keep in touch with me. Kenneth

    • kenneth avery profile image
      Author

      Kenneth Avery 5 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      fpherj48 . . ."THANK YOU KINDLY, for your comment, and yes, you are correct. Etch-A-Sketch WAS the first wave of computers. Never dreamed of that. Thanks for the update and keep your comments coming. I LOVE THEM." Kenneth

    • kenneth avery profile image
      Author

      Kenneth Avery 5 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Hi, storytellersrus, your comment fired up a lot more of my childhood memories. I can recall ONLY getting a piece of peppermint candy in the shape of a shepherd's rod, and maybe a shirt. Times, as you well know, were not that great when I was coming up. Besides the Etch-A-Sketch, I can remember the joy and overall gush of adrenaline when I got a car carrier...a truck/trailer with a few little cars that I played with on our linoleum rug for hours until I would fall asleep. Those, my friend, were the days. I wonder at the state of global economy, if we shall not return to those days once again? Take care, my dear friend. And may God bless you. Thanks again for the warm comment. KENNETH

    • kenneth avery profile image
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      Kenneth Avery 5 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Hello, Becky! THANK YOU SO MUCH for the comment. I appreciate the input from YOU and all of my friends on hubs. Especially the remarks about memories of Christmas past. You sound like you had a great Christmas time when you were growing up. What I wouldn't have given for a sleeping bag--so to help me in my "wars" on the dessert against evil men. I, with my cap gun,holster, and hat, would really get involved in doing the cowboy/bad man thing. This sleeping bag would allow me to 'rest' at night, (in my living room floor) on the cold dessert, with my campfire, (fireplace) and rest for the night. What a fantastic Christmas gift. I may get my grandson this gift idea, sleeping bag, for Christmas. He, like me, loves to imagine things. Kenneth

    • kenneth avery profile image
      Author

      Kenneth Avery 5 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Warmest greetings, MsDora! THANK YOU for your warm and sweet comment. I appreciate that so much. Im the blessed one with my grand's who are coming by tonight for candy and other treats. They usually spend Saturday night with us and go to church with us the next day. On Saturday, guess what their biggest thrill was? A cat! A beautiful black cat with white 'stockings' came on our carport and it was like these kids were in Macy's Toys Department...arguing over who gets to hold he cat next. I was so happy at them all three loving an animal. When I am gone on to be with Jesus someday, I am sure that my love of animals that I passed to my daughter to passed it to them, will always be evident. Be blessed today, MsDora. And be safe. Kenneth

    • kenneth avery profile image
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      Kenneth Avery 5 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Hello, breakfastpop! I remember that giant chiken who laid the egg. And mousetrap..wanted that so bad. Never got it. And I DID get Silly Putty, and it does work on picking up comics in the newspaper. I confess. I was young when I got my first SP, and I found myself chewing it for it tasted pretty good. Just sharing. Thanks for your comment. And hope you have an exciting day. Kenneth

    • Storytellersrus profile image

      Barbara 5 years ago from Stepping past clutter

      Kenneth, you bet! I am glad I stimulated more memories for you. I am going to have to call my sister and see if she remembers any of her gifts. Maybe this will help me recall mine. I feel bad, because I am sure my Mom and Dad tried to gift me something special. I asked my Mom (who has dementia) and she was delighted that I remembered all the details about the pageants versus gifts. So I guess she doesn't feel sad about my poor memory! Hugs!

    • kenneth avery profile image
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      Kenneth Avery 5 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      storytellersrus, I am sorry about your mom. That has to be a challenge for you, but you still have your mom. I lost mine one year ago this past August. And she is with my dad who I lost five years ago this past September. That is so ironic and so like God to take them during their favorite time of the year--late Summmer and earl Fall. I DO appreciate your comments and want to to keep them coming. When Im busy on the PC talking to my hub friends, I havent the time to be depressed about my own life which is not as bad as some I see on television. I am just emotionally weary today. Thanks for YOUR UPLIFTING comments. God bless you, dear friend. KENNETH

    • Pollyannalana profile image

      Pollyannalana 5 years ago from US

      Great! Friends!

    • kenneth avery profile image
      Author

      Kenneth Avery 5 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Good Friends.

    • ThoughtSandwiches profile image

      ThoughtSandwiches 5 years ago from Reno, Nevada

      Kenneth...

      I fondly remember my Etch-a-sketch. Although I never mastered the ability to create a cat named Leonard...I did do a passable rendition of lie-detector are flat-lining EKG tape...yes...warm memories of the etch-a-sketch 'flat lining' as my 'Operation' guy is lost on the table...

      You have great memories...thanks for sharing and inspiring!

      Thomas

    • Jennifer Mullett profile image

      Jennifer Mullett 5 years ago from Canada

      I love this! Retro toys still hold their own, my kids love the Slinky, Radio Flyer Wagon and Mr. Potato Head!!! Maybe things haven't changed so much!

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      Kenneth Avery 5 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      BOOO! HAPPY HALLOWEEN! 10-31-2011, 9:26 P.M./CST

      ThoughtSandwiches . . ."Thanks so MUCH. I now am very envious of YOUR Etch-A-Sketch skills. Never in my wildest imagination, or even Leonard's, would I have thought of an EKG or lie detector line. What a rouse I could have pulled on some unsuspecting person (like me) and convinced them that I COULD tell if they were lying or not. Hmmm, reckon Hubbers would talk if I were to buy a new, upgraded Etch-A-Sketch at age 57, and do the lie detector thing at stores who I suspect are jacking up the prices? All I need to complete my disguise is a 50's hat like Sgt. Friday wore and a raincoat. Oh a plastic badge. Thanks Thoughts, for the LOL, and that is still making me laugh...EKG line...comments. Your friend, "Sgt. Bilk Avery,"

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      Kenneth Avery 5 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      GRRRR! BOOO! HAPPY HALLOWEEN TO YOU TOO, JENNIFER!

      Thanks so much for the compliment on this hub that makes me sad each time I read it. I miss my old toys. I am not too prideful to confess that to you. And I am PROUD that your children still love the retro things. They are children of great destinies. Thanks, Jennifer, a LOT, for your comments. YOUR friend, Kenneth

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      Sueswan 5 years ago

      Good morning Kenneth

      Thank you for sharing your memories of Christmas. I miss how Christmases use to be. It is too commercialized now and many forget about the true meaning of Christmas.

      The gift I remember receiving the most wa an Easy Bake Oven. I was a bit upset with my sister at the time. She woke up me up Christmas morning to show me my Easy Bake oven that she opened. lol

      Voted up, up and away!

      Have a great day. :-)

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      Kenneth Avery 5 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      TUESDAY, NOV. 1, 2011 @ 9:39 A.M./CST

      DEAREST SUSAN . . .Yes, you are correct. Christmas IS way too commercialized for me these days. And it's not just recently this has happened. Commercialization has been going on (and progressing) for years. I am for the simple times with family, friends, and knowing why and who we are getting together. To me, Christmas is not as much what we GET, but what we GIVE and WHY. Ahhh, yeah. The Easy Bake Oven. Why on earth did my mind NOT bring that one up when I needed it? You are a gem, Sueswan. Thanks for this warm comment and all of your comments. And have a happy, safe, and productive day. Sincerely, Kenneth

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      Richard Ricky Hale 5 years ago from West Virginia

      Kennethm I had to vote up and all across. This was a fun article. I was born in the early 80's, but techology wasn't quite there. I was one of the few that grew up in the end of the simple age into the early technology stages. I had atari and the famous etch. I had a slinky and checkers as well. I then adapted to the Playstation. I had a Schwinn that was traded in for a mountain bike. Times seemed simple then, but it may have just been that I was a kid enjoying life. Nothing could ever replace my Tonka's though. I was much older before they went:) Great article.

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      Kenneth Avery 5 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Hello, thelyricwriter on this sunny (where I live) day, Nov. 2, 2011...THANK YOU SO MUCH, and I mean it, for this and all of your comments. Guess what? I have an International red tractor, scale model, on a shelf above my pc in my office at home. My mom always said that I took care of my toys...as I would wash them each time I was through with them. The reason: In my childhood, you didnt know if you would be receiving anything else. Just noticed that tractor there and it rekindled many cornfields in the dirt I plowed as a simple-minded boy who grew into a simple minded man. And I have a Playstation2, but dont know how to install it. Any ideas?And if you dont mind me saying, I love your name--thelyricwriter. Take care and have a pleasant day. KENNETH

    • RealHousewife profile image

      Kelly Umphenour 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      Oh Kenneth - this really took me back! And we are obviously like minded here - I used to get like 1 gift for my birthday and just a few things (including clothes!) and we were excited! I had all the same stuff you did it seems, what about a sled with rails that had to b soaped down? Come on! You had to have one of those!

      I think my first video game was table tennis - and that just entertained me for hours! Can you imagine a kid being given a thing like that today? The thought of the look on their faces makes me laugh! I think we were really more resourceful back then don't you? I made my own cell phone - out of a can of beans and a string:) lol.

      Up and everything!

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      Kenneth Avery 5 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      RealHousewife, you are a gem. A sheer delight to know and to read. Thank you VERY much for the comment/memories. Never had a sled because over here in northwest Alabama, just below New Albany, Mississippi and 30 minutes from Tupelo, it seldom snows. Now last year it snowed a lot during Christmas. That was a real event. I would have LOVED a sled. Table tennis? WOW! What a great gift. Your ingenius cell phone was hilarious and I am still smiling. I am GLAD that I met you today. YOU have already ADDED a lot of cheer to my life. Keep in touch with me. Please? Kenneth

    • RealHousewife profile image

      Kelly Umphenour 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      Oh Im not done with you yet...sorry....I can tell I'm going to really enjoy following and learning from you! The thanks belongs to you!

    • alezafree profile image

      Aleza 5 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

      It seems that modern day cell phone companies have learned well from Mattel's bait and switch. As soon as you buy a new cell phone, it immediately goes out of style.

    • kenneth avery profile image
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      Kenneth Avery 5 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      11/04/2011...3:35 p.m./cst

      RealHousewife . . .YOU ARE AN AMAZING FRIEND. And I do not have the words to adequately thank YOU except, "From my heart, SINCERELY...MY THANKS, for being such a Great New Friend and whose comments that thrill me." I am sincere too. Feel free to write, comment, and visit me often. Your friend, KENNETH

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      Kenneth Avery 5 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Hello, Dear Alezafree! Nice to see you again. Its always nice to see you. And I THANK YOU SO MUCH for your lovely comment THAT IS TRUE. But if you want real horror..try to get a SafeLink phone..they will do all they can to make you angry and lie to you at will. I do NOT recommend SafeLink to YOU or anyone. And T-Mobile, have you tried them? Just wanted to help. Your Friend, KENNETH

    • theherbivorehippi profile image

      theherbivorehippi 5 years ago from Holly, MI

      Oh my gosh...I LOVED my Etch-a-Sketch! And...Slinky....I actually sprained my ankle tripping over my Slinky that SOMEBODY left on the stairs. Do they make Etch-a-Sketch anymore?

    • kenneth avery profile image
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      Kenneth Avery 5 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      theherbivorehippi . . .first, THANK YOU SINCERELY for the warm comment on this hub. I dearly appreciate that. Ouch! That's smarts--spraining an ankle on a Slnky...and yes, I do think that they sell an upgraded model that is NOT AT ALL AS VINTAGE AS MINE. But they dont make ME's anymore either. LOL. Have a Peaceful night or day and keep in touch with me. Your friend, KENNETH

    • justateacher profile image

      LaDena Campbell 5 years ago from Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Near Oz...

      I want some of these original toys for my grandchildren. So far I have not been tempted to buy to latest greatest electronic toys, but have instead bought quality toys that encourage a child to use his imagination. I am looking for a good old fashioned tricycle for both of my grandsons -not one of these new plastic things that will soon fall apart - but one they might give to their own children someday!

    • kenneth avery profile image
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      Kenneth Avery 5 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Hello, justateacher...you are making a very wise decision as to get vintage and sturdy toys...like a wagon for them to haul dirt, rocks in and learn to be responsible. Yes, get toys that make them use and develop their imaginations. And and old fashioned tricycle is just the ticket. Stick to your guns and you will have a great Christmas. Sincerely, KENNETH

    • RealHousewife profile image

      Kelly Umphenour 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      You might REALLY be sorry Kenneth - I get in trouble sometimes because I hear I have a filthy mouth. I am grammatically correct about it - if it makes a difference:) lmao! I think I'm in love with you:) lol

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      Kenneth Avery 5 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      LOL, Realhouswife...you ARE such a PLEASURE to know. I take friends without conditions or having them to change to suit my needs. If you are a true friend to me, then that is how I see you. We are not perfect, my DEAR friend. And if you are in love with me, what an honor...a super, warm, lovely and creative person as you loving a crude, unfinished, piece of work like me...LOL..its you who might be best served to be advised that I do NOT correct anyone. I just enjoy them. Is that kosher with you? Gosh, I hope so. Those lofty words hurt my mouth so much. LOL...no kidding. You are a GENUINE delight. Kenneth

    • RealHousewife profile image

      Kelly Umphenour 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      I'm a rule breaker Kenneth:). I don't like restrictions and I'm quick to admit I'm incorrigible so as not to disappoint you later. You are killing me - you crude, unfinished piece of work:) lol. I love it - and the day I'm finished - it'll be because I'm dead! Haha!

      It's all kosher with me:)

    • kenneth avery profile image
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      Kenneth Avery 5 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      LOL, Realhousewife. Me either. Im the prototype Maverick in my circle of few friends. And I dont like fake authority. Or being told what to do by someone who isnt qualified. Is that you also? And YOU WILL NOT disappoint me. It may be me who disappoints you. I am going to sign off and take a shower. My one for the week..LOL, and seriously. I WISH FOR YOU, a SAFE, HAPPY and LOVELY WEEKEND. And "Please," Keep in touch. Thank YOU! Kenneth

    • Kathleen Cochran profile image

      Kathleen Cochran 5 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      Well, if your other hubs are as enjoyable as this one, I'm in for some treats! Great walk down Memory Lane with a view from the 21st Century. Always good to meet another Old Geezer with newsprint in his veins!

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      Kenneth Avery 5 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      LOL, THANKS, KATHLEEN, for the compliments, and the truth about newsprint in "our" veins. That was told to me the very first week in my career in the newspaper industry. My mentor and close friend, Joy Wilemon, a woman of multiple-talents--writing; ad sales; typsetting; lay-out; etc., looked at me and said, "You may leave this business in a few years and go into other lines of work, but Im telling you now, the ink never gets out of your blood," and she, and YOU, are both right. What a revelation. And what a great friend Ive found in you, Kathleen. Bless you for your comments. And following me. I sincerely appreiate that very much. Kenneth

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