July 7, 2013

Latest treasure brings youthful glee

Who remembers the lyrics to an old song called “Playmate, Come Out and Play With Me”? Good. Teach it to your grandchildren.

How about the second verse? It begins, “So sorry playmate, I cannot play with you. My dolly’s got the flu.”

I just asked Kaye if she recalled the words. We sang it together. We’re still kids at heart.

Kaye is the keeper of Gordie’s treasures. She calls it “stuff.” George Carlin did, too. As they say, “One man’s junk (stuff) is another man’s treasure.”

At least once a week, she comes downstairs and plunks a box down on the kitchen bar. “What’s this?” she asks coyly. She knows full well that the contents will engender gleeful excitement from this old-as-dirt Little boy.

Case in point: down she came recently with a stack of something and the usual query. Plunk! There on the bar were my old Children’s Play Mate magazines from the 1940s and early ‘50s. Treasures, for sure. I picked up the top issue. The date is August 1948. I was 11. They cost 15 cents. Inside was an invitation to enter a radio contest. The first 10 prizes were $5 apiece. One of the questions was, “Write, in 25 words or less, why you like your favorite radio program better than any other.” Even as a tyke, I was never able to write anything in 25 words or less, so I probably didn’t win.

The magazine was designed for boys and girls from 4 to 14; but mine go all the way to December 1954, when I was 17, so I must have been a closet fan. I had a ball looking through all of them the other day. It was like a time machine. Games, stories, activities, homemade toys and letters from my friends in “The Playate Club.”

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