Memory Lane: A Rainy Day

Image result for images of toy knights

Sometimes on a dreary, rainy day, my father let us take the slats out from under our mattresses, set them up across the beds, drape the throw rug over them, and pretend that we were camping.

Having done so, my brother and I would break out the toy animals and dinosaurs and set them on adventures. We never got into army men, but we did have a couple of toy knights, which my mother identified for us as Sir Lancelot and Sir Galahad. Under the shelter of our make-believe tent, Sir Lancelot and Sir Galahad enjoyed some exciting times exploring lost worlds full of dragons, jungles, the North Pole, and the planet Venus.

Assisted by assorted lions, rhinos, elephants, stegosaurs, and giraffes, our knights overcame aggressive tyrannosaurs, hostile natives, and alien beings. Sometimes we resorted to Grandpa’s old stone building blocks and endowed the knights with castles and forts that had to be defended. A gigantically overgrown Dimetrodon was their biggest challenge, but they were up to it. Occasionally they would recruit bands of cowboys on horseback to help out.

It was amazing how time flew by, when we were doing this. Did I mention that we had lots of little toy cavemen, too? They usually found their way into the story, sometimes as the good guys, sometimes as the bad.

Video games? Fah! Who needs video games?

About leeduigon

I have lived in Metuchen, NJ, all my life. I have been married to my wife Patricia since 1977. I am a former newspaper editor and reporter. I was also the owner-operator of my own small business for several years. I wrote various novels and short stories published during 1980s and 1990s. I am a long-time student of judo and Japanese swordsmanship (kenjutsu). I also play chess, basketball, and military and sports simulations. View all posts by leeduigon

7 responses to “Memory Lane: A Rainy Day

  • UnKnowable

    Some of those adventures sound quite similar to what I’ve been reading in your books. That, my friend, is a WIN!

    Firstly, it means that you have successfully remained true to yourself and not been corrupted by life. It also means that you imagination remains intact and fertile. It’s rare to find that in our day. Your dreams remain alive, and that is quite an accomplishment.

    My play, as a child, was in great part related to mechanized things. Fleets of Tonka trucks were folllowed by HO trains, model cars, slot cars and eventually motorcycles. My bicycle was my constant companion during the few months of every year that the weather allowed me to ride. This remains a part of my life to this day, and once my breakfast settles, I’ll be taking a ride today.

    The trains, model cars, slot cars and motorcycles were the beginning of my education in mechanical and electrical things and I carry what I learned from them into my everyday life to this day.

    I made a few great “forts” from sheets, cushions and anything else that came to hand. Thanks to my parents for putting up with my various projects.

    I tend to believe that there is no such thing as play. Children at “play” are trying out different ideas and becoming familiarized with various aspects of life. While I have matured, or so I claim, I am very much the same individual I was when I was a child. I still am drawn to the same interests and still understand the appeal that things had in my childhood. I may not have any desire to own the same toys as I did growing up, but I still understand why these things appealed to me.

    Congratulations, Lee, for successfully applying your childhood dreams and fantasies to real life. Very few of us ever get to do that.

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    • leeduigon

      My brother was more into cars and trucks than I was, although I did enjoy slot car racing and assembling car models. But we had perfectly good armored steeds for the knights to ride, so cars seldom made it into the adventures.

      Everything in our house, and I do mean everything, my father understood how it worked and knew how to fix it when it didn’t. I inherited no portion of that gift: to me it always looked like magic. He almost never read–that was my mother’s department; she was a voracious reader–but boy, did he know how to make things go!

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  • UnKnowable

    Armored steeds are actually much better than cars.

    Growing up in the musclecar era, I lived and breathed cars and couldn’t understand why a Cadillac didn’t have a four on the floor. I built models of drag racing cars and eventually became skilled at creating my own street freaks, models of cars with enormous tires and radically altered suspensions. Thankfully, once I got my first real car all of this foolishness gave way to appreciation for good handling and braking.

    I still like cars, but these days I see owning a car from a different perspective. Cars require maintenance, repairs, insurance and license fees. I drive a modest mini-pickup and an even more modest roadster. I wouldn’t want anything newer or nicer unless I knew I had a way of paying the upkeep over the long haul.

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  • Linda Sorci

    Lol! This brought back memories of my younger brother when he was maybe 5 or 6, pajamas on, holster strapped on with his cap gun holstered and all his army men and equipment – all under the blanket he would drape over a living room chair and an end table to make his ‘fort’. Thanks, Lee 🙂 What wonderful days those were.

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