Whitesburg KY

In times past, kids created their toys

As we get up in years, past our prime as some would say, we are forced by nature to slow down. We often just linger awhile longer over our third cup of joe. We can at this time, just let our thoughts drift back through the fog of times long past. We may see little ones squabbling over toys and remember when we were youngsters ourselves.

When I was just a little sprout growing up, there were very few toys. We never had to argue as to who was going to play with what. We made our toy cars by nailing four bottle caps onto a short chunk of 2×4. We would use a forked stick about four feet long to roll a hoop in front of us. The hoop was usually an old bicycle rim with the spokes removed.

Sometimes we would nail a lard can lid to a length of board or tree limb and roll it in front of us in the very same fashion. Or we would sometimes just get an old, worn-out automobile tire and roll it. We would play with our homemade toys for hours. I probably put more miles on toys such as those than I ever will driving a vehicle.

Sometimes we would cut strips of rubber from an old inner tube and, with a forked stick, make us a slingshot. We would make them out of the red rubber when we could find some, because the red rubber wasn’t synthetic. It was the real thing and worked better and lasted longer.

To make a sled, we took two lengths of wood and nailed some crosspieces to them. There was no way to steer the sled, and there certainly wasn’t any way to stop it except by dragging our toes on the ground behind it if we were lying on it. To ride down through a broom sage field, we just used a good-sized piece of cardboard. Boy, we could really go on the broom sage till it all got wallered down to the bare ground.

As a little child growing up, I always wanted me a teddy bear to sleep with. Each Christmas morning I would look from my teddy bear, but each Christmas I got disappointed, year after year. I just couldn’t understand why I never got a teddy bear. After I was grown, I forgot about the teddy bear, but a year or so ago I told my daughter the story about the teddy bear. So she and her husband presented me with my teddy bear. After 63 years, I finally got one. And not just any bear, but Winnie the Pooh. You can guess where it stays, where it belongs. It probably means more to me now than it would have long ago.

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