Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Hot Wheels and Matchbox

Hot Wheels and Matchbox were often the focus of all things fun as a kid. They were the gateway to my own little world. They were collected and accessories were purchased. All kids needed fire trucks, police cars, and construction equipment. Those were the most important ones to own. Next you needed a bunch of regular cars so they could have accidents for the emergency equipment to respond to. You had to have really fast cars for the police to chase and you needed construction equipment for those times in nice weather when you played outside in the dirt. There were also the carry cases for the fleet of cars. We could take the cars out to the baseball diamond and make all sorts of tracks in the infield sand. Sometimes we would leave big ruts at the end of our construction. I'm sure the softball players liked those in the evening when they took over.

I also had pieces of plywood that I drew roads on, laid our parking lots, and drew in important buildings like fire stations. One days when I was indoors the plywood was brought out from under my bed and became my instant world to play on. My love of playing in these invented little worlds eventually transformed into my model train layouts.

One of the kids up the street was Raymond Trabbold, or Raymie as we called him. Raymie was maybe 5-5 years older than me. I looked up to him as a big brother and he used to get down on the floor and play Matchbox with Chris and I. He helped us plan and draw out the roads on the plywood and playing with him was always a lot of fun. As he got into his teens he did more things with kids his own age and we drifted apart. By the time I was in my teens he moved away and I never saw him again. I found out he died as a young adult. It made me sad and I never asked anyone what happened to him because I knew it was a sad thing to bring up.

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