My Favorite Childhood Toys

This is another post from the chapters I’m writing for a “Storyworth” book.
My son signed me up because he thought it would be fun for the family
to have a book of my memories of growing up in Redwood City, California
in the 1950s and 60s. Every week I get a new question prompt.
I have to admit that I am way behind. 

My Favorite Childhood Toys

My Teddy Bear is the number one toy that has been with me for a lifetime.
He was my friend, confidant, sweetheart, and loyal sidekick. Teddy now
resides in our grandkids’ guest room, along with my kids’ stuffed animals.

We had a Post-World-War-2 Lionel Train set from the 1940s that I absolutely loved. The engine weighed several pounds and puffed smoke. There was a “milk car” with a little man that would push out milk cans onto a platform. I gave my hamster Nubbins rides on the train. Looking back now, I’m sure he was terrified, and that makes me feel awful.

The disappointing thing about being the second child is you inherit wonderful toys like that train set, and you think they’re yours until your much older sibling wants them back. My husband, Mike, and I were moving out of state with our three-month-old baby boy, when my father told me my brother wanted the train set. I know Dad felt terrible taking it, but it was my brother’s before it was handed down to me. I had envisioned our little Casey playing with it someday.

I loved my cap guns, cowboy gear, roller skates, and Flexi-Flyer. My first skates attached to my saddle shoes, and I wore the key on a string around my neck. Often, when I was speeding down the sidewalk, one of the skates would detach from a shoe, and I wound up with skinned knees, hands, and nose. Ouch!

I was in seventh-heaven when I got my first pair of “shoe skates” like the ones at the roller rink but with metal wheels for the sidewalk. Pretty soon everyone on the block had a pair. We often “skate-skied.” We’d tie a rope to a bike’s back fender and take turns pulling each other.

A Flexi-Flyer is a sled on wheels. Super dangerous and so much fun. When I was around four years old, I got my first concussion when I crashed off the sidewalk into the street and landed on my head. My poor dad found me unconscious, and my folks had to take me to a neurologist. Years later, I was allowed to play with it until I had another nasty crash.

My last ride was when I was in the fourth or fifth grade. I had snuck the Flexi-Flyer out of the garage, and a bunch of us kids were taking turns careening down steep Pleasant Hill Road in our neighborhood at break-neck speeds. However, we took the precaution of having a lookout at the bottom of the hill who kept an eye out for oncoming cars at the cross street. My final ride ended with my dad showing up at the bottom of the hill and confiscating the Flyer. He took the wheels off, and that was the end of my Flexi-Flyer days. To this day, I wish I could have one more ride!

I had a chemistry set in the 1960s that would be outlawed today. My friend Elaine and I would mix up bubbling green concoctions and then try to get her little tag-along sister, Judy, to drink them. She never did, and, of course, we never would have let her. But it was fun being evil mad scientists!

Other fun toys I had were Slinky, Silly Putty, Play-Doh, Tinker Toys, Hula Hoop, Mr. Potato Head (we used real potatoes) Magic 8 Ball, an Erector set, and my three-foot tall walking “Patti Playpal” that I would leave sitting around the house to scare my parents.




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