CherWriter is the first formal attempt at a blog by this writer.
These are just glimpses of a slice of life offered to me everyday on this earth. It is just an attempt to share with the readers of the blog (hopefully there will be many of you out there) as I experience it.
Here's to a shared life. May it always be the best... what is given us, how we perceive it, how we make use of it, and how we build our legacy based on it.
Friday, December 17, 2010
The Past Presents: TIN TOYS
Igrew up in my grandparents' home. That beautiful house held many wonderful memories and life lessons for three generations of Reyeses.
If it was still standing today, you would have had the chance to know my grandparents and how wonderful they were, only by looking at the elements of the house.
The seamless blend of old and new architecture would tell you that my grandparents embraced change in life while steadfastly preserving, and handing down to us the good and lasting values of the past.
The fact that antique and modern furnishings were still useful and were still being used, mirrored my grandmother's meticulous nature. Everything had its proper place and use. Her loving and caring nature showed in the way the cleaning and care of each glass, plate, silverware, clothes, and other personal effects were keenly supervised so that care instructions were followed to the letter.
Of all my childhood memories of that house where I lived 22 years of my life, one of the fondest involves her wood and glass toy cabinet.
It was found in a small and cozy room just to the right of the living room as you entered the house. This magnificent toy cabinet never failed to elicit oohs and ahhs from us little kids. It had all kinds of toys, big and small. As a mother of five boys and a girl, most of the toys my lola had were cars, trucks, log cabin play sets, toy soldiers, spaceships, wind up toys, and dolls.
Only lola had the lone key to open the alligator lock on the glass door. Puppy dog eyes and your best sweet grandchild antics had to work in combination to get her to relent to having us play with these toys. Actually, now that I think on it, borrowing a toy from lola was not very hard. The thing was, she was a little reluctant to have us play with these toys because they were all antiques! Having been the best friends of my dad and his siblings growing up, lola really wanted to make sure that we could responsibly and carefully play with these toys. Well, I guess you know how it is... the usual list of "Be careful..." reminders and promises half listened to because of our eagerness to fulfill the only thing on our agenda... PLAYTIME! :D
It's funny now looking back, because even if these toys were made of tin and had a lot of sharp parts and mechanical components, never did I remember me or any of my cousins sustaining any injury from these playthings. I guess lola's warnings were really scary enough for us to take them seriously... :D
Some of these toys were battery operated. Some were the mechanical wind up type. Made of tin or heavy metal, these were heavy and sturdy, unlike the plastic toys prevalent in stores today.
I found this warning on a website that featured these toys:THIS ITEM IS A COLLECTIBLE REPLICA FOR ADULTS ONLY. THIS ITEM MAY CONTAIN SHARP PARTS AND UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES CAN BE SOLD TO, GIVEN TO, OR PLACED WITHIN REACH OF CHILDREN.
How ironic that these toys were purposely built for children in the 1940s and 1950s. Yet, by today's standards, these are hazards to children.
These toys, for me, were the REAL INTERACTIVE TOYS. They let children play with actual children in IN THE SAME ROOM. Friendships and character are built through sharing, consideration, trust, honesty, and respect for one's personal property.
These toys from the past are now worth a lot from a monetary standpoint. But perhaps, their value is more in the fact that they are links to a past where toys were valued and passed down from one generation to another, or a friend to another. They were not like the disposable toys of today that when a part of it breaks, it is immediately discarded and forgotten. These tin and metal toys more often than not, outlast their owners so that when these children grew up, they learn to appreciate the care and quality of workmanship that went into it. Since it was not rapidly mass produced, these toys were really TREASURED and were not set aside as easily for the next big toy fad.
I consider myself lucky to have been given the chance to play with these toys by my lola. It connected me more to my mom and uncles and aunt, and it felt wonderful that I got to play with the same toys. THEIR TOYS. It was as much a family heirloom as antique jewelry passed down from mother to daughter.
I wonder if our generation will make toys like these again.