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Simplest toys were the best toys

I read somewhere that the most desired toy for Christmas was the $1,000 iPhone 11. I say toy because it is kids that wanted it. Electronic game consoles can sell for a few hundred dollars and up. These facts made me think about the toys that gave me the most hours of fun when I was a wee one. None were very expensive.

I remember having an airplane that was tethered to a post and would fly around in circles. Then there was the miniature gas station complete with a lift and cars in the bay. I played with them for a while, but never as much as I did three other toys that were close to free.

The first was the clothespin. I spent many hours building houses, using the clothespins for soldiers, and using them as bombs to lob at my little toy soldiers.

My toy soldiers were my favorite. I fought WW2 and the Korean War many times with those soldiers. I would create elaborate battlefields and have my soldiers attack each other. At one time, I had some Civil War troops. Of course, the North always won. My big brother Bill (4 years older than me) delighted in knocking down my strategically posed troops.

There was one toy that took precedence over all others, at least for a short time. It was the Pea Shooter. My friends and I delighted in shooting peas at each other (better than throwing darts at each other as we did as teens.) The poor pigeons took the brunt of our pea shooting, an act I must apologize for to all pigeons everywhere.

The girls in the neighborhood jumped rope and played Jacks. Were there any simple toys that kept you busy?

Originally posted on The Kensington Neighborhood Alumni Group on Facebook.


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