Friday, April 25, 2008

The name is Bond, Leif Bond

From the time he was tiny, Leif loved cars. He was particularly fascinated with the Lotus Esprit he saw in the James Bond movie, Moonraker,in 1979 when he was four-and-a-half years old.

We were in Innsbruck, Austria, and decided to take the boys to the movie as a treat. We all enjoyed it! Then we made the mistake of going into a department store and heading for the toy department, which was up on the third or fourth floor. He spotted a toy version of the famous car that went underwater, and he wanted it! The toy was one we could have gotten for less than half the price back at the army base where we lived. It was really an exorbitant amount, and Leif had no money he had saved for things he wanted on the trip, so we refused to get it for him.

Well, he wasn't going without it, even if it did cost $13 for the small metal car. Leif was usually a fairly even tempered child, but he did have a temper that raised it's ugly head now and then. He threw the biggest screaming fit I had ever seen him throw, and it was mighty embarrassing! Since we were the only Americans around, and the only people speaking English, it was even worse.

We tried to get him calmed down, and thought we had, but as we walked toward the stairway, he saw a big round column, about the size of a telephone pole, and wrapped himself around it. Leif was always strong, and he was amazingly strong for a kid who wasn't even five years old yet! It took both Peter and I to peel him off that pillar, and even then it was a big struggle. We were sure people must have thought we were terrible parents, with a child fighting that hard to stay there and not come with us, but at last we thought we had him calmed down and started down the stairs.

The stairs weren't such a big problem. There wasn't anything interesting on them, and we got down a floor. Then he ran for another round pillar! Back to square one.

By a series of grab-the-pillar and drag the feet maneuvers, Leif managed to make it very difficult to move him out of and away from the store! I was mortified. Eventually, though, he gave up and we finally made it to the car. It's tough being a "mean" mom who sticks by what she says!

Eventually, and not too long after this, Leif did get the precious Lotus Esprit. I found it at his apartment after he died. That was one really special toy!

1 comment:

  1. There's an iconic design and associated memory! In my first week of school in Zama, some random kid had a Japanese notebook that featured the submarine Esprit. At the time, you could buy American spiral-backed notebooks at the PX with superheroes (or whatever) on the cover, but Japanese notebooks went a step further. They had better bindings, and the first pages of the notebook, rather than being blank, had all sorts of information and illustrations on the notebook's theme character.

    I borrowed the kid's notebook during class and studied the "blueprints" of the Esprit within in detail. This was in Mr Sarver's science class. I guess I lingered a little too long on the artwork, and Mr Sarver yelled at me. (Mr Sarver was always 9-parts about letting you know that he was miserable teaching science and about 1-part actually teaching science.)

    Anyway, I had just made friends with Peter and was telling him about the cool notebook that featured the Esprit. He told me right away that Leif had a toy Esprit, and I'm almost positive (although not certain) I examined this very toy at your house one day.

    This was one of my first memories of Japan, and perhaps part of the start of an obsession with transforming vehicles. (God knows Japan was the place for it.)