Remember the feel of “real” tinsel? Like the kind that decorates this 1953 tree in back of little Wendy, from a 2011 blog post? Or in the background picture of my blog, on the right, taken of me and my brother in 1955? We probably thought it was made of tin. Our parents were careful
All the girls had one. Whether it was the cardboard and vinyl model from Zody’s or your local discount store, or a fancy import like this one found on ePier.com, all girls treasured a ballerina jewelry box. It was as much a rite of passage as your brother’s first baseball bat, and it came ‘way
The Boomer Book of Christmas Memories is complete. Yay! The last picture has been added, the final copy has been proofed, and the next time I see it, it will be a bound, beautiful, full-color book. And . . . weirdly . . . I’m now finding more pictures. Like this one of Gene Autry.
You may not know the name or the face, but you’ve heard his songs. You’ve grown up with them. Songs like . . . Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer Holly Jolly Christmas Silver and Gold (and all the other songs from the TV special Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer) Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree I Heard the
Coming right at the end of the Boomer era, we remember Nerf Balls as a cheap present for little brothers and sisters, or maybe even a cool new toy for our own kids. Where did they come from? From playing Cave Man. Reyn Guyer (right), one of three men who claim credit for inventing Twister
The Visible Man–who remembers that? But can you recall the name of the company that made it? The Renwal Company didn’t start out in the anatomy/ scientific/ educational toy biz. In fact, Renwal started in housewares, then made doll furniture from the end of WW2 till the late 1950s, then they sold their dies so
It seems almost irreverent to ask, but where did Gumby come from? The clay that became Gumby was first seen in a 1953 experimental movie created by Al Clokey, who studied film making at USC. Clokey was from Michigan, where the clay-ey soil was referred to as gumbo, and he called that 4-minute film Gumbasia.
Harold von Braunhut may sound like the name of a rocket scientist, but this Harold obsessed over a particular species of brine shrimp—the kind that went into suspended animation when their watery home evaporated. The shrimp—Artemia nyos—remains nearly lifeless for years, until dunked in water once more. Then—Halleluja!—it rises from its shrimpy grave. This made
The name Wham-O comes from the sound that a slingshot missile makes when it hits the target. That’s what it sounded like to the founders of that company, anyway. This brief history of Wham-O is straight from The Boomer Book of Christmas Memories, which will hopefully be on sale by June, 2013. Rich Knerr and Spuds Melin