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Trad climber
Cali Hodad, surfing the galactic plane
Dec 6, 2012 - 06:08pm PT
I don't recall ever having any toys as a kid. Maybe when I was 2-3 y.o.! But, when I turned 7, I recall asking for a fiddle (violin). The area we were from Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, had the best fiddle players in the world (so says the Smithsonian Institute) and I had heard a LOT of fiddle playing by some of the VERY best by then. So, when I got this fake/toy plastic fiddle for my 7th birthday, I was very disappointed . I felt like a little kid that wasn't taken seriously. I asked for a 22 rifle for my 8th birthday and ended up getting this really cool recurve hunting bow and hunting arrows. I guess that would probably be my "favorite toy" as a youth. It went everywhere I went for the next 3-4 years. Nothing cooler than spending a day tracking & hunting wild hares with a bow and arrows as a kid. Especially if ya score one and it ends up as the main ingredient in a pot of stew your mom cooked for the evening dinner.

But, when we moved to California, when I was 9, I recall getting a pair of steel roller skates. I was kinda disappointed at first, because I thought they were for girls, but once i got around to trying them out, i had a great time. I would skate around the block for hours. They made a lot of noise, screeeech, screeech..., and peeps started turning on their sprinklers and setting them next to the sidewalk. It actually made it all the cooler (literally) though. One of them eventually blew its ball bearings. About a year or so later I used the good skate to make my very first skateboard by nailing it onto a 12" piece of 2x4!

Other than that, I did get a bicycle for my 9th birthday. Every kid needs a good bike, and mine was a Schwinn, which was THE best at the time.

So, those are the only toys I can recall, oh yeah, I got a pair of ice skates when I was 6 y.o.! All canuck kids had a pair by then. Mine were hand me downs (most were). And a pair of skiis when I was 8. Used the skiis to travel across the snow with primarily (bow hunting, etc)! But I recall making my first skijump and sailing off of it with them also. Pretty exciting times, youth, eh? lol

edit: when we moved to Utah when I was 13, i finally got that 22 rifle. It was Savage bolt action. I paid for it by myself, by mowing lawns & doing yard work. That rated right up there with my bow as my favorite "toy"! It also provided a few more much welcomed "rabbit stews" to the dinner table. Another favorite "toy" that, I just recalled, was my fishing pole and gear. Nothing like fresh trout cooked over a campfire.

EDIT: I just noticed Riley's and recalled a couple more. Marbles were a great "toy" if you could call them that. There was a particular "marble season" that roled around every year, and all the kids would shoot marbles. There were two main games, 1) pots, in which you drew a circle on the ground and put marbles in it and took turns shooting them out (you got to keep the ones you shot out). The second game was shotting a marble as far as you could on the playground, and then another kid would shoot a marble "chasing" yours. Then it was game on, once you got close enough to hit the other marble. Whomever hit the other guys marble first, won the game and the marble. Most marbles were 'cat eyes', the best, most expensive and most treasured ones were called 'agates'.

Sling shots were also a lot of fun, but had a tendencey to get you into some major trouble sooner or later!

I also got my first surfboard after we moved to Cali, when i was about 10 or 11 (borrowed a friends prior to that)! I forgot about that, it would probably rate right up there with the bow and 22 rifle, fishing pole, etc, and was something (surfing) that turned into a way of life for me. I had a lot of respect for all of these items, and i don't think i really considered them toys at the time ... maybe the roller skates!! For instance, you could make some pretty good spare change by shooting marbles (either by playing for money, or selling the marbles you won). The agates would often go for a couple dollars a piece, for instance!
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