This isnt My story but when I read it I felt like it kind of represents similar experiences of a lot of us here and ties kids and their beloved toys from all generations together.Its funny how a piece of plastic can stir up such vivid memory's in us.The dates, Toys , fads and band names might be different for all of us but I think most of us can tell a very similar story to the on below. This is a repost from here that in turn was reposted from a post made in 2003 here.
Big Loo was the most
desperately wanted toy on my 1963 Wish List. He could shoot balls out of
one hand, and bend over and grab things to destroy with the other. He
had blinking eye lights, and a crosshair sight for the dart shooters,
missile launchers and water squirter. He could talk too. He had a crank
operated voice with ten different sayings. Not to mention the warning
bell, a two-tone whistle to further terrify the bad guys, and a compass
and Morse code clicker in case you were lost in the wilderness and
needed to send a message in code. Not only that- Big Loo was huge. 37”
tall to be exact. He was just about everything I wanted in life that
But late in that summer of 1963 we had returned home to
Trenton Michigan after visiting friends who had moved to California. My
younger brother had asthma; the pollen laden eastern summers were
killing him. He had done remarkably better in the dry southwestern
climate. Instead of spending time in the emergency room he had been
running around, swimming, and skinning up his knees and elbows riding a
steel wheeled sidewalk surfboard. Sometime around Halloween a ‘For Sale’
sign appeared in front of our house. My folks announced that we too
would be moving to California. We were going to a place called La Habra-
sort of near Disneyland, and sort of near the beach.
sold in November, and one Friday afternoon a fragment of broadcast
broke across the loudspeaker in sixth grade Music class. The teacher
turned directly to me. "John. Get down to the office right now, and find
out what happened". Against all school rules, I ran down the ramp,
through the lobby, and into the main office. “What Happened?” I asked.
secretary looked at me for a moment and said in a flat, stunned
voice,” Someone shot the President.” That was Friday, November 22.
weeks later, Friday, the Thirteenth of December was cold, and wet. The
moving vans had gone. After school we said goodbye to our friends,
finished packing, and took a last look at our home. The tree out front
was a bare stick. The lawn was brown, the windows black, and everything
else drizzly and gray. It was dark by the time we left. Mom piled my two
brothers and me into the car, and my Dad drove south that night, into
Many days later, our bedraggled family pulled up to the
door of our friends’ house in La Habra California. It was after ten
o’clock at night when we got there. The moving vans had been delayed,
so we spent several days sleeping on the floor in their living room and
everyone got the flu at once. One of the moving vans arrived Christmas
Eve with half of our furniture and goods.
We spent that Christmas Eve
moving into a shabby sprawling ramshackle house right off Whittier
Boulevard. There were avocado, persimmon and loquat trees all overgrown
in the huge shaggy yard. There were real poinsettias, too. Somehow in
the midst of all that confusion my parents managed to get a Christmas
tree set up and decorated in our otherwise empty living room. My Dad
explained that Christmas might be delayed this year. At eleven, I
understood what he meant, but my younger brothers still believed in
Santa. He took my brothers and me to “Freight Outlet” and gave us each a
few bucks to spend so we’d have gifts to give. My brothers and I never
knew how broke we really were then. We got dinner that night from Burger
Q, which was right across the street from our new home.
next morning my brothers and I woke up to Christmas. The house was half
empty, and strange. Stranger still, it was warm, and sunny out. But it
was still Christmas. I don’t know how my parents did it, but they did.
We had presents. All the silly, wonderful Christmas-toy junk that my
brothers and I had coveted, wished for, and figured we just wouldn’t
get, appeared beneath the tree that morning. Including my talking 37”
tall, ball firing, dart shooting, missile launching, water squirting eye
blinking, waist bending, thing grabbing, bell ringing whistle blowing
“Big Loo Your Friend From the Moon” robot from the Marx toy company.
was Christmas 1963. By the spring of 1964, I had discovered car models,
surf music, and then the Beatles. Big Loo went the way of most real
toys, which is to say that I don’t know when or how it disappeared. And
now there’s one for sale for eighteen hundred and some odd dollars on
e-bay. There’s not a chance I’ll bid on it. Nonetheless, if it were mine
I wouldn’t sell it.