Friday, February 01, 2008

Smokeyville Towers

I mentioned that Julie and Richard had all sorts of construction toys when they were little. There were the standards, like Tinker Toys and Lincoln Logs and Legos and Erector sets and various other block sets and building things I've since forgotten.

They had a huge Lego set, the largest sold at the time, which never looked like this because I'm a little compulsive and I would go in and sort the blocks by color into the little compartments. I didn't expect them to keep them that way, but it pleased me when they opened the box to see everything laid out in order. Like my thread board. Like Sheldon cleaning Penny's apartment.

One of my favorites was the Crystal Climbers. They were so pretty, with their transparent colored pieces.

Julie and Richard would get out all of their construction toys and make these wonderful play scapes across my living room. A Lincoln Log fort, a Crystal Climber castle. Highways of Hot Wheel tracks. Industrial centers of Erector sets. State fairs of Tinker Toys.

A final touch that they added, were dozens of Pringle cans. Since I seldom bought potato chips*, they canvassed the neighborhood, asking people who bought Pringles to save the cans for them.These were added to the project to create "Smokeyville Towers".****

* When I moved out of that house, my mother and sister helped me pack, doing some of it while I was at work. The kids had decided that they didn't need as many Pringles cans, and were throwing out some of them. My mother called me at the office to tell me that I was never going to be thin** if I ate that many potato chips! And when I told Forrest about it, he told me that was what I could expect if I let Mama know anything about my business***.

** Once, when the kids mentioned to her that I had taken them out for banana splits (I, honest to God, had a cup of coffee! Being "good"!), she told me I would never get thin eating banana splits! I hadn't had one in over a decade, but as soon as I left her house I went right out and scarfed one down!

*** I had been so foolish because this was the first time I had lived in the same town as Mama in the ten years since I was 16.

**** Named after Smokey Bear, Julie's true and constant companion since she was 15 months old. She still has a Smokey and the tattered remains of a Smokey that her dog Samantha chewed up.

Photos courtesy:
Tinker Toys,;
Lincoln Logs,
Legos and Crystal Climbers, Family Resource Network

1 comment:

Theresa said...

This is one great story. I am howling at the thought of you drinking your coffee and resisting all those donuts. Being thin is truly overrated, IMHO.

Pringles cans were one of my favorite toys. I truly remember wanting my mom to buy one of those pop top cans for the value of the packaging, although I admit I thought the chips were good, too. Not anymore, thank goodness. Now I'd prefer those celery hearts.