Lived by the sea,
And frolicked in the autumn mist in a land called Honah Lee.
Little Jackie Paper loved that rascal Puff,
And brought him strings and sealing wax and other fancy stuff.
I had a lot of toys when I was growing up. One of the first I remember was a sock doll named Jack. My mamaw made him for me. He was made like a sock monkey except he didn’t have the monkey snout or a tail. But Jack was special. She made his head by tying a string tightly around the top part of the sock, stuffing it and gathering the cuff to make his head. He had a little tuft of sock cuff at the top, I guess his hair. She embroidered eyes and a mouth on him. He had blue eyes and a red mouth.
I carried Jack with me wherever I went. I loved his head off! Since he was getting pretty ragged, she made another doll. His name was Johnny and he had green eyes. I don’t know if they thought I wouldn’t know the difference or what, but I knew it wasn’t the same. I’d leave Johnny and look for Jack whenever they tried to trade them on me. Jack’s head was safety pinned shut and most of the stuffing was gone, but I still carried him around. Johnny never even had his head loved off! I’m sure I still have him somewhere, with the near perfect Johnny, in a box.
As I got older I found other toys and entertainment. My family lived on a corner where the street made a T. That gave us a long stretch of sidewalk to play on. I had skates. These weren’t the kind of skates that attached to a shoe. You had to put your own foot and shoe in and tighten the skate with a skate key. I wore the skate key on a string around my neck because if it was lost the skates didn’t work. My good friends and I would skate up and down that sidewalk for hours.
|Skate key used to tighten skates.|
I never had a Barbie. I never even wanted one. I had troll dolls instead. I had a whole family, a single mother family. Goldie Gotrocks was the matriarch. She had a daughter named Lola and and a baby named Moonye. She was a regular size troll doll and Lola was one that would fit on a pencil top. Moonye was a tiny plastic doll, probably from a gum machine. They had an aunt named Starlynn. I played for hours with these dolls. My sister and I and the girls across the street, Jana and Judy, would make clothes, create elaborate soap opera type stories and build little houses, most of the time in the squares of the very same sidewalk where we skated. Judy and Jana had a troll doll house. It was plastic and folded and latched, like a little suitcase. I thought it was the best thing ever. It really enhanced the value of their property. But, since Goldie was a hard working single mother all she could afford was the makeshift house on the sidewalk square!
|This isn't Goldie. She's in my hope chest in storage. But it's kind of how she looked but shorter.|
I’m not sure at what age you stop playing with toys. It varies I’m sure. One of my boys still secretly (or not so secretly) plays with his little cars! Some people never really stop but they don’t play like they did when they were little. People tend to substitute big kid toys for the toys they played with as kids. They cost more but the purpose is the same. What stops, in some cases entirely, is the imagination. Kids are allowed to do things that adults would never do because of social rules and norms. If you see an adult with a cape pinned to his back running around with a plastic dinosaur in hand what would you think? Seeing a child doing just that brings a smile to even the dourest personalities.
Is seems that adults have to work a lot harder at sparking imagination. Often, it’s not anyone’s fault. Daily routines, responsibilities and even habits can frequently cause the imagination to deteriorate. That’s why there are so many ‘bored’ adults around. Try hanging out with or even watching little kids play. You’ll not be able to keep out the power of their dreams. You might even find your dragon.
|Lego Dragon at Disney World. Puff?|
A dragon lives forever but not so little boys.
Painted wings and giant rings make way for other toys.
One grey night it happened, Jackie Paper came no more.
And Puff that mighty dragon, he ceased his fearless roar.
Day 350, March 16, and we’re in Orlando. No bus problems today, yet, so we get to look around. We caught the shuttle for Downtown Disney and head out to look around. We found a good place to eat, Captain Jack’s, then shopped around for souvenirs for the littles.
Sinéad, and she said be sure and stop by Raglan Road Pub. I looked around and we were right there. I told Alan it must be an omen so we stopped. It was a nice break.
|My new shirt|
|St. Paddy Day knitting|
|First rest area in Texas|
Together they would travel on a boat with billowed sail.
Jackie kept a lookout perched on Puff's gigantic tail,
Noble kings and princes would bow whene'er they came,
Pirate ships would lower their flags when Puff roared out his name.
Oh Puff, the magic dragon lived by the sea...
Oh Puff, the magic dragon lived by the sea...