Sunday, February 13, 2011

52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History - Toys

This week, GeneaBloggers poses the topic:  Week 7: Toys. What was your favorite childhood toy? Is it still being made in some form today?  I seriously doubt it.

While most of my childhood toys were "outside games", I had a few things to do indoors.  There were always books, board games and Barbie dolls.

It had to be seriously cold outside to stay in the house....or I had to be bleeding from the ears.  Ok, not seriously, but you remember that kind of childhood.  If school wasn't in session, the minute breakfast was done, I was out the door.  Came home for lunch and then out the door again.  My father got home from work at 4:25 and we had supper at 4:30 on the dot!  After that, more outside until the dreaded streetlights came on.  We scattered like ripples in a pond the minute the streetlight even looked like it was coming on.  Children ran in every direction because you didn't want your mom on the front porch yelling your name to the neighborhood. 

On those occasions that my playground was bordered by the walls of my bedroom, I would take my Barbies from their case in the closet.  Would they dress in the haute couture of 1970?  Of course not!  MY Barbies had specially made....calico long dresses made by my mother...and even had ric rac!!

Johnny West in his bachelor days
You see, while other little girl's Barbies were dining with Ken on Broadway in New York (this was before Malibu Barbie House so deal with it) or zooming around in a pretend sports car (that looked suspiciously like a shoe box), my Barbie was busy settling the frontier with Johnny West.  Yes, Johnny West.  Scourge of all  things bad in those thrilling days of yester-year.  She'd NEVER be seen with Ken, who'd idea of adventure would be changing his neck scarf!

And the best part?  The very best part?  Johnny West and Barbie (whose name was Barbara for these purposes) traveled in a scale model of a covered wagon.  That's right - carved wheels, bench seat, all the comforts that those early pioneers had.  Well, it would have been covered if Mother and Daddy figured out what to hang the canvas from.  You see, my Daddy could make pretty much whatever he wanted to.  He was a skilled craftsman and handyman.  He also had a wood working lathe, but I don't believe he used it on this.

By the way, Johnny and Barbara West also had a beautiful pair of horses to pull the wagon.  Their harnesses were of the finest leather and had silver buckles and fasteners.

They also had their family and friends about them as they blazed their way into the new frontier.  The same Christmas that Johnny West made his way to our home, Santa also brought along Jaime and Janice West and Geronimo even came along for the adventures.

Yeah, I was a history nerd even back then, but I blame it all on this man.  I know that my 7th great-grand uncle didn't look like this, but *swoon*

So, what was my favorite toy?  Imagination.  Thanks to Mother, Daddy and Daniel Boone.


  1. My Barbie hung out with a couple of macho GI Joe's! :-)
    Theresa (Tangled Trees)