Yesterday’s toy box a priceless gift
|By Scott Hewitt, The Columbian, Vancouver, Wash.|
|McClatchy-Tribune Information Services|
An "Antiques Roadshow" expert would huddle with colleagues and come up with a likely auction price or insurance value. Dollars, that is.
But visit the
Tea parties with her girlfriends on tiny china plates from
The toys now belong to the museum, since McMenomy donated them. The happy memories of a simple
"It was a different sort of childhood," McMenomy said. "We were free to run back and forth. There was no danger. We were just kids, and we had a lot of fun."
There was an essential quartet, she said: brother Bud and herself --
That father happened to be the father of
"It was a village of 419 people, and there was no museum then," McMenomy said. For that matter, it had no fire department or police force, either. "It was just a tiny place with a rural mail carrier," she said.
McMenomy's own father came to
Just like the party lines of old, she said. "You'd lift up the receiver and there might easily be four or five people on the line already," she said.
Many of the toys came not from local stores but from those mail-order Christmas catalogs, she said. The catalogs were great entertainment in themselves, and she and her friends would pore over the descriptions and pictures intoning "I want that. I want that."
Unlike today, though, children in those days had no idea what they would ever actually get. Parents did the ordering and the gifts arrived in secrecy. Only at Christmas would all be revealed.
Eventually, her family moved to
After a lifetime in
So she called her old friend
Not the couple of the truly antique dolls that belonged to her grandmother. "I just can't quite give them up yet," she said.
(c)2014 The Columbian (Vancouver, Wash.)
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