Thursday, November 20, 2014

Holiday Memories--The Sears Wish Book

Around the holiday season each year I guess I’ve mentioned to Stretch more than a few times about the old Sears “Wish Book” catalogs that we last century kids used to pore over hoping that we’d get at least a few of the toys/dolls/games that we circled and marked with stars and arrows and anything else we could think of to attract our parents’ attention when they flipped through the book.

Stretch came to me the other day and said that his friend Debby had sent him a copy of one of these catalogs and he couldn’t see what the big deal was. Did I really want one of these primitive computer-type machines and this weird-looking camera when I was a kid? I patiently explained that the book he got from Debby was actually a “century before last” catalog, not the ones I had as a kid.

To clear up the matter, I searched the Web and found a great site called where some nice folks have scanned copies of old Sears Wish Books in PDF format for us baby boomers to browse and enjoy. With a big thanks to them, I was able to show Stretch some of the fun items I enjoyed as a kid.

Stretch: So what kind of video/computer games did you have?

Me: Well, we had something called “Board Games.” Like this Barbie game I used to love to play with my cousins Melanie and Tess. Remember? Mel and I played this again when we visited her a few years ago.

Stretch: Oh yeah. I've actually been trying to purge that memory of you guys in the prom gowns after the game . . . Well did you have any realistic three dimensional games?

Me: Sure. There were these Disneykins/Tinykins. Gosh, Tess and I used to create all kinds of scenes and activities with these figures.

Stretch: So how about DVDs. Did you ever get DVDs for Christmas?
Me: Well, we had something a little different called a Viewmaster.

Stretch gave me one of those looks.

Me: But look, I did have something that was really exciting. My Dad bought me this telescope when I was about 9 or 10. We used to take it outside or set it up in the window when it was too cold to go outside. You could see the moon really clearly, the rings of Saturn, and great views of some of the constellations. My Dad loved anything having to do with space and he passed that fascination on to me.

Stretch: So, did you ever spot the constellation “Stretch” when you were looking through that telescope?
Me:  No, my life was a lot simpler and less “stretchful” in those days.
….to be continued

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