As it states in the ‘about’ part of the blog, I’m a child of the 50’s. Television, movies, play, were all about The Lone Ranger, Space Command, Warner Bros. cartoons, Forbidden Planet, The Untouchables, and all other manner of sanitized violence.
And my green, wooden toy box reflected that.
It was filled with cars, trucks, robots, construction equipment, tools, and yes, toy guns. Including a multitude of cap guns and rifles-that-made-noise, play bullets and all manner of boy’s toys. Not a doll in sight.
Sadly, when my Dad married my step-mother, the toy box was moved to the exterior of the house. Wouldn’t want Guffaw’s toys to clutter the house, now would we? 😦
And, as I advanced in grade school, I played with them less. This meant my Mattel™ Fanner Fifty (with left-handed holster!), Detective Special (both re-loadable with Matty Mattel bullets and ignited with Greenie Stickum Caps), the construction gear, cars, tools, and everything else were subjected to the elements.
And eventually discarded. 😦
(My friend Leigh’s parents did film me in full cowboy regalia once, reenacting some scene from a forgotten cowboy TV show, running, jumping, rolling into prone, drawing and shooting one of my cap guns. Of course, the 8mm home movie is probably long lost.) 😦
This was when children played outside!
But, boys are nothing but ingenious! 🙂
My friends and I began constructing rubber-band guns, using scraps of wood we ‘found’ at housing construction sites. (Hey, we had to have guns!)
Affix a spring closepin to one end, stretch a rubber band (or a series of them for greater distance) and viola’! A toy gun with which we could play cowboy, or soldier, or spy, or whatever.
Of course, we were never happy with the limited distance or inaccuracy. (Sound familiar?)
As we got into the 5th and 6th Grade, we clamored for more.
So we attached the rubber bands to the wood (ala a slingshot) and began looking for projectiles to shoot! Obviously, after a few misadventures with pebbles and bent bobbie-pins, we made the universal decision to not shoot one another.
For safety sake.
Of course, escalation lead to model rockets, amateur rockets, BB guns, and eventually real guns. Always something to shoot.
And, we still don’t shoot each other.
This isn’t South Chicago…