Press-Republican

Columns

January 20, 2013

Old games new to some today

“Everything old is new again” is an old phrase and an old song. 

My favorite version was sung by Anne Murray on “The Muppet Show” years ago. The Muppet Orchestra played while Muppets performed on skateboards. Murray sang beautifully.

My friend Jack Glasgow of Virginia asked if I had ever written about old toys and games that are still available today. I opined that I have probably touched on that subject in the past, but agreed that it is time for a reprise.

The yo-yo is a perfect example. It’s been around for at least 2,500 years and is continually reinvented. In 18th century England it was called a bandalore. Don’t ask me why. It enjoyed a revival here in America during the 1920s and brings back fond memories of my own sometimes misguided childhood. All of our children and their children have played with yo-yos, and a quick check of every toy box in our “Little” house reveals at least one yo-yo.

Is there a Slinky in your house? Sure, and in ours as well. They even make them out of plastic these days. The Slinky cost just a buck when it was first produced in the early ‘40s, and my simple mind was so fascinated with the toy that I stayed by the stairs in our house for hours, watching it “walk” down from top to bottom. They’re about $10 these days.

I’ve often written about Raggedy Ann and Andy and my love for them as a little Little. They’re still very much around.

Kaye and I both remember jacks when we were very young. Same with marbles and pick-up sticks. I also loved those tin tops with the spiral handle you pulled up and pushed down to make them spin and play tunes. You can still buy them today.

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