It’s the holiday season again. Thanksgiving is over and Christmas will be here before you know it. Thoughts go to Mom and Dad and times long gone. Gone, but not forgotten. The best thing about growing up in a Christian home are the memories. Growing up in Springfield, MO was great. Life was easy for a child. Not so much for parents. Kids could be kids. Television was available, but not a necessity for the young. Not yet anyway.
Toys in the nineteen sixties were exploding. The baby boom had begun. Improvements in batteries made mechanical and electronic devices surpass the wind-up or hand powered of the past.
Sears and other catalogs brought never before seen toys to the home. The method chosen for allowing parents to determine what to buy was to circle the item in the catalog. Because there were four children, each put his or her initials inside the circle. If a brother or sister had already circled and marked an item, all one must do was include another set of initials.
Later Mom or Dad would review the selections and their prices and place the order for the gifts. One particular year a helicopter was one of the choices. There was a cargo door on it that opened. Accessories that could be lifted in and out of the fuselage by a battery operated crane. Lights flashed and while the propeller did not turn on its own, it made a noise that sounded like it was.
The other things received that year are long forgotten. When the boxes were opened, that was the gift. There was a problem. The cargo door hinges were broken on one side. The door could not be closed. It just fell off. No one was at the phone number for returns on Christmas day. The toy was played with carefully. Everything else was inspected and the next business day a phone call was made.
The damaged item was placed back in its box and set aside until it could be returned and a new one sent. The call was a disappointment. None of the helicopters were left. All had been sold. It could be returned and some other item shipped to replace it.
All that was broken was a hinge on the plastic door. A metal pin was found in the junk drawer that could replace the plastic that broke. The tip of an ice pick was heated and a hole made. The pin was inserted and carefully glued in place. It lasted longer that the electrical part of the helicopter.
A few years later when the toy was thrown away, the door hinge still worked. The lights would no longer light. The winch had stopped operating. The propeller blades had been snapped and repaired too many times to remember. The repaired hinge still worked fine. The final accident was a crash from a stairway landing that caved in the side opposite the door. New toys had been received and it was not necessary to fix it this time.
Sometimes toys are not forgotten, even if their names are not Buzz and Woody.