12-14-2021 Prompt – Describe Best or Favorite Childhood Toy

“Describe favorite or best toy.”

It was end of the Great Depression and the start of World War II — we weren’t poor, but there wasn’t much discretionary spending money. Ronny and I were lucky in 1941 because dad, Lloyd, hadn’t been drafted yet and he could build anything with wood and copper. Ed and Edna Ellis, our neighbors, loved kids but had none of their own.

So dad and Ed got together, unknown to we brothers, with dad’s tools in his shop long before Christmas. They designed and made a real, to our eyes, machine gun for each of us. The guns were swell. We thought they were actual size; they rested on tripods and were just the right height for us to “man” while sitting in the Bermuda grass or on the rocky ground around our house dad had just built.

We swung them right to left and back through a wide field of fire while cranking out the loud chattering noise that Ed and dad had invented. Not having real bullets or bandoliers to feed in the breech wasn’t a big deal. We could fire them anytime we wanted and never ran out of ammunition. Our boy imaginations were vivid.

Not even Billy Perrine, “the rich kid across the ditch” (Rillito Creek) had anything to match our beautiful machine guns dad and Ed had made.

Donavin Leckenby


I remember some toys from my early childhood, one of the earliest was a stuffed elephant. I did not remember when I got it all there is a note in my baby book that says it was one of my presents from my first Christmas. Why an elephant? I was born in 1943 the year the Disney movie Dumbo premiered. I guess that made it a logical choice or maybe a memorable one. My parents loved the movies perhaps they saw it and acted. I had the elephant into my twenties.

It wasn’t my favorite toy NO! My favorite was a dollhouse I got for Christmas when I was 7 or 8. It wasn’t a fancier built by hand one, but a Montgomery Ward model made out of tin with a plastic family and furniture.

I loved it. Perhaps that is where I first began telling stories—as I sat on the floor and made-up pretend lives for the family that lived in my dollhouse. I even remember my grandfather sitting down on the floor with me and listening to my stories, even becoming a part of them.

As I played a computer game today, I saw an image that looked like that dollhouse and all those memories came flooding back, and I was that seven-year-old child again.

Christine Howard

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