Flashback Friday ~ Toys, Toys, Toys

This is the Saturday, Way Late Night Edition of Flashback Friday
brought to you by Quilldancer.

Flashback Friday is the brain child of Linda from Mocha With Linda. This is the meme that takes us back in time to the days of our youth. Linda says, This meme’s purpose is to have us take a look back and share about a specific time or event in our lives. It will be fun to see how similar – or different – our experiences have been! This weeks Linda wants us to share our memories of our favorite toys.

What toys do you remember from your childhood? What did you like to do to entertain yourself? Did you mostly play inside or outside? Did you ride a bike all over the neighborhood? Play baseball in the backyard? Basketball in the driveway? Did you have to “get permission” to play at a friend’s house, or were you and your friends back and forth between houses all the time? If you had siblings, was there a distinction between your toys and theirs? Did you “inherit” any toys from older siblings? What were the “fad” or “must-have” toys of your generation? Did you parents buy them? Was there a toy you always wanted and never got to have?

Toys! I had more toys than any one kid could possibly need. I don’t ever remember wanting anything I didn’t have. Most of my friends didn’t have half the stuff I did.

Generally if I was inside, I was reading. Toys were for outside. Even my Barbies — of which I had eleven if you count Midge, Francine, Skipper, Alan, Christy, & Ken. I also had the Corvette and Barbie’s Dream House. I had a G.I. Joe doll as well, so my fashion doll count was really twelve.

I also had a whole passel of Troll Dolls. I loved them. I kept them all over my room and carried one or two or twenty with me every where I went. That was a very coveted collection. All of my friends wanted it. One day one of them stole it. Gram and I were gone all day. When we returned home I went in my bedroom and the window sill was empty. All of my Troll dolls were gone.  All of them.  I hadn’t taken a single one with me.  So were the two cigar boxes full of their clothes which I kept on a shelf in my closet. Nothing else was taken.

My very most favorite toy of all was my bicycle. Most of you know my Coolest Kid story about the day I rode my bicycle off the cliff. I loved my bicycle and owned a series of them until I was 24 years old and moved to a place with straight up and down hills that were hard enough to walk.  Riding really wasn’t an option.

As for visiting friends, in the Summer I pretty much had the run of my neighborhood.  I knew my boundaries — from LaCrosse to Emma and Government Way to Lincoln Way, it was a 5 street by 5 street grid.  I was free to roam that area at will but I had to report home whenever the mill whistle blew, which was 6 a.m., noon, and 6 p.m.  In the Summer I was free to go back outside after dinner.  Then my acceptable territory shrunk to our block and I had to go in when the street lights came on.

I lived within a stone’s throw of the school yard, so I had a baseball field, basket ball court, tether ball poles, teeter-totter, slide, swing set and monkey bars on hand at all times.   My friends and I all had clamp on rollerskates and we skated on the playground backtop.  I also had stilts, and a pogo stick.

Despite a few bad patches here and there, I had a pretty blessed childhood.

22 thoughts on “Flashback Friday ~ Toys, Toys, Toys

  1. Oh my gosh! What a coincidence! I just wrote about toys, too…. my daughter’s Cabbage Patch dolls. You were lucky to have such a fun childhood. We had fun, but very little toys.

  2. I remember your Bicycle Story very well. It isn’t nice that someone stole all your trolls. You didn’t say if you ever found out who or if you got them back. Wonderful read.

    • Bill — that’s funny, when I was writing about my bicycle story, I was remembering that you and Amoeba shared your bicycle stories at about the same time. In all of my antics, I never tried swimming with my bike. That honor is all yours.

      As for who stole the trolls, there is someone I have suspected for years — because I caught her when she stole my piggy bank, and because they disappeared just as her family was packing to move — and no, I never got them back.

    • Linda — I belatedly remembered that the first couple of Barbies and the Barbie house came from my half-brother’s foster family. (When Mom died my half-siblings became orphans and wards of the state. Dad wasn’t allowed to adopt (single man) and Gram wasn’t allowed to keep them, either.)

  3. i had dolls. only i never liked them much. all i wanted was a race track and model trains – and i never got those because i wasn’t a boy! i liked legos, though

    • Polona — I also had a bucket full of Matchbox cars. My friends and I used to make miles of trails in the dirt bank across from my house and play cars for hours.

  4. Good gravy on horseradish! I’ll say! Sounds like only Michael Jackson had more toys than you! I wish I’d been YOUR best friend!

    • Melli — I was really good at sharing my toys, too. The only thing I was stingy with was my bike. On the other hand, everybody seemed to have better bikes than me, anyway.

    • Susan — the same weekend Linda posted this question but before I read it, my sister and I had a discussion about the mill whistles. They turned them off in 1970 because of “noise pollution”. Gram bought me a watch and I had to learn to pay attention. It destroyed the remainder of my childhood. sob

  5. Glad you have some great childhood memories! You were lucky to live close to the school having easy access to the playground. I too remember having lots and lots of Barbie dolls and the Barbie Dream House. It was a dream house, was it not?

    • Church Lady — I am much older than you. I had the original Barbie Dream house which was a cardboard suit case that folded out. It had cardboard furniture that looked none too inviting. It was nothing like the plastic two story mansion we bought my step daughter in the 80s.

  6. You are the first person I’ve met who also had a Francine doll! My sister had Barbie and Ken; I had Julia, Francine, and Skipper. My parents didn’t see any need to have more than one of each in the house. My SIL felt sorry for me that I never had a “real” Barbie so she gave me one for my 40th birthday.

    • I had Julia, too! I just didn’t mention her because I didn’t think anybody would know who she was! a black Barbie is the 60s? No way!

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