There are some ads running promoting the Coaches' Toy Drive benefiting Children and Families of Iowa. They show some Iowa coaches remembering their favourite toys from each one's youth.
The ads started me wondering if I could remember some of my favourite toys from childhood. There was the big metal doll house my sister and I had wanted which I found hidden under a blanket in Mom's closet before Christmas. (Snoopy little brat.)
Before that were the dolls with 'real' hair. I had the ability to awaken before my siblings xmas morning. Around 4 a.m. I would quietly sneak down the stairs to see what was under the tree. There was just enough light from the glow of the oil burner through the isinglass front that I could read the names on the packages to see which were mine. Then I would shake them, feel them, try to guess what was inside.
The year Betty and I got the dolls, they were just sitting under the tree without "To" name tags. One was blond with a pink dress, the other auburn tressed in a yellow dress. I don't know what possessed me to want the blond (today I would fight for the auburn redhead) but I did so I hid her back behind the tree insuring that my little sis would see the one I didn't want and go for her while I had to 'settle' for the one I wanted all along.
I also remember the year brother Ron received a coveted bow and arrow set. It was just a small bow and the arrows had suction cups over the ends. Ron had me hold up the Sunday funnies so he could shoot the arrows at them. Unfortunately he took the suction cups off first. He fired from across the living room at the paper I was holding up in front of my face. The arrow went through the comics and hit near my eye. I cried, of course. Dad came into the room, took the bow and arrows and broke them across his knee and threw them into the fire of the old coal burner stove we had at the time. Ronald was crushed about losing his toys and being upbraided by our Dad. I quit crying because I really wasn't hurt but started feeling terrible because my brother had lost his prized bow and arrows.
Mostly I remember the things I wanted for Christmas that I never got: the Tom Thumb Typewriter pictured above; a baton and majorette boots; a double-holstered gun set with a cowboy hat and fringed vest and skirt to complete the outfit; when a bit older an artist's box and a camera. Bud has said he always wanted a mad scientist's chemistry set.
It must be human nature to remember the things we didn't get, just as it now is to want what we can't have. We don't appreciate what we have until it is gone.