Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Leif and the Popsicle Stick Western Town - Sachsen bei Ansbach, Germany - February 1980 - Age 5

In an earlier post I said I wished I had a photo of the Western town that Leif and I built out of popsicle sticks when he was small, and I found one. It was a kit that he got for his fifth birthday on January 28, 1980. It was a hard project for a boy only five years old and he couldn't have done it alone, but we had a great time constructing it together. The kit consisted of thin cardboard frames for the buildings. We had to cut them out and fold and glue them into shape, then cut the popsicle sticks and other wood pieces to fit in place and glue them on. It turned out pretty nice. He had fun playing with it. We moved it around with us for years, boxed up with other toys he had outgrown but wanted to keep. At some point, we decided to let it go but the memories of the fun we had with it linger on.

Leif and his brother always liked to make things, from plastic models of airplanes, ships, tanks and cars to things they thought up and constructed from things they found or scrounged up around the house and neighborhood. They were creative boys with a lot of ideas. Often, their ideas were more complex and difficult to create than their abilities would allow and they would get frustrated, particularly Leif. They both learned to live with that, though, and Leif had quite a collection of plastic models he had made from as far back as about third grade, maybe earlier, that were still packed up with his toys when he was thirty years old. We had (or at least I had) ideas of passing them on to his kids someday, so I kept them long after he had left home.

When we moved to Florida in 2005, none of us had a place to store them any more and Leif parted with the old models and gave his GI Joes and Japanese robot toys to his nephew, Marcus.

I will always remember the fun I had making things with my boys.

This photos was taken in our kitchen in the village of Sachsen bei Ansbach in Germany, in February 1980. Leif was five years old.

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