Memory Lane: the Boomerang

It took me most of my life to learn how to throw a boomerang so it’d come back to me; and I had no sooner mastered the art than my boomerang disappeared. But then the local playgrounds in our town have all disappeared, too.

I don’t know if the boomerang ever matched the national impact of other summer fads, like the hula hoop, yo-yos, cracker balls–and we had local fads for pea shooters, pop rocks, and punks. Mr. Bruno across the street had a heavy wooden boomerang. He’d take it out to the schoolyard now and then and play with it, and all of us kids stood in awe of his expertise: the thing always came back to him. When I finally got a chance to try it–Mr. Bruno wasn’t home, his kids found the boomerang and sneaked it out of the house–it never even thought of coming back to me when I threw it. Heavens, no. The blasted thing sought out the nearest school bus window and crashed right through it. So much for that.

What touches off a fad? It can be something as utterly senseless as pet rocks, or something that takes a fair amount of skill and practice, like learning yo-yo tricks. (I still have my yo-yo. The cats like me to use it.) And then the fad disappears as suddenly and as mysteriously as it first rose up.

Hula hoops are back, though; and a few days ago, the kid across the way was banging cracker balls off the sidewalk.

5 comments on “Memory Lane: the Boomerang

  1. Who knew Lee was such a juvenile delinquent? I have plenty of stories along that line myself. I still like throwing the Frisbee. It gets you outside and running (I’m not all that good at throwing it). Boomerangs are too dangerous for me to be messing with. I am a pretty good bowler, though.

    1. Mr. B’s boomerang was really too dangerous for kids to play with. That’s why we had to sneak it out while he wasn’t home.

    2. I also enjoy playing Frisbee and bowling, although I haven’t done any bowling recently. I like playing catch, too.

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