Where the Toys Are

In my day we had only a stick and a few stones to play with. Not quite but somewhat true.

My toy collection was sparse to begin with. But as soon as I laid down a toy and ignored it for a while, my mother gave it away to the farm. On this farm some distant relatives lived with seven children. I asked my mother where a certain plaything was and she said, “Gone to the farm up north.” I never cried or questioned this since she was a dead end. Not one single toy survived my childhood.

I remember playing with small, colorful plastic beads that might have come off a Christmas decoration. With these beads, I made up stories and played with them as if they were toy people. I remember some sadness when one of the beads got lost in the innards of a living room recliner. With only a one hour a day allotment of TV given to me, entertainment had to come from somewhere. Not counting the Etch A Sketch, the television was my only screen since computers did not exist for everyday people.

Another favorite toy, but not a toy, was my colored pencil collection. I didn’t use them for drawing much but I played with the pencils in a manner similar to the beads. I was a poor artist, but imagining each individual pencil as a character in a make-believe story amused me for hours. My favorite pencil was seafoam green, still my favorite color.

My Favorite Pencil


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