Watching and listening to the young parents agonize over finding the right toys for their kiddos made me think back. By today’s toy standards, most of the parents of kids from my generation and older would still be in prison or at the top of some "terrorist" watch list.

Watching and listening to the young parents agonize over finding the right toys for their kiddos made me think back. By today’s toy standards, most of the parents of kids from my generation and older would still be in prison or at the top of some "terrorist" watch list.


I begged for a BB gun, but my folks opted against that for some reason. Instead, I got a revolver that I’m pretty sure was supposed to shoot something, but I never got the ammo. I’m still miffed over that particular omission.


Easy-Bake Ovens were big on the gift list. It had a light bulb that would "bake" miniature cakes. I imagine that if the bulb got hot enough to bake something, it also got hot enough to burn little fingers. However, since I never got one, I’ll never know. Instead, I was told to use the REAL oven if I wanted to bake. That, I know from experience, caused much more serious burns than one of those plastic little ovens would’ve.


Chemistry sets were popular. I admit that I wonder what in the world the creators were thinking. A kit for kids that held pesticides, chemicals to make bombs and other fun stuff? They equaled an ER visit in a box, at the very least. I never asked for one because most of those same type things were in our barn and in larger quantities. I also knew that if I even thought about using said chemicals, I wouldn’t have had to worry about blowing myself up. My parents would’ve killed me first!


There were toys with tiny parts that could be eaten, stuffed up the nose or poked down an ear. There were REAL METAL cars, trucks, tractors and such that were not only fun to roll around, but could double as weapons if a war broke out. Toys with sharp edges and points were as common as Kool-Aid.


Besides stuff that could be purchased, we had the great outdoors. Lots of parents, mine included, told us to use our imaginations and create toys. (OK. Mine just shoved me and my dog out the door, minus toys, and said "You’re on your own.") Sticks, dirt, mud, weeds, critters, gates, fences, ponds and more served as our toy department.


You know what? Somehow, most of us lived … and we’re semi-normal to boot!


Happy birthday Sunday to Becky Sewell, Sam Walker, Claudia Jean Mundine, George Dehorney, Justin Ray Anderson, Dylan Rucinski and Chester Wilson, all of Denison; Judy Hightower, O.C. Merriman, Bobby Chatham, Lynn Womble, Casey McKinney Sr., David Linson, Sandra Miller, Patricia Mask and Anita Orr, all of Sherman; Sandra Sue Medley of Garland; Jasley Cade’ Glossman of Dallas; Charisse Thomas of McKinney;


Happy anniversary Sunday to Charles and Paul Vick of Pampa, 64 years; Robert and Jhordis Lewis of Sherman.