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A Few of My Favorite Things

by Eva Pasco

Transistor RadioRodgers&Hammerstein's timeless lyrics of brown paper packages tied up with strings prompted a seasonal memory jog to dredge up a few of my favorite things. Mind you, as 1960 rolled down the living room carpet where our Christmas tree stood in front of the picture window, I was a 9 year old--one of those girls in white dresses with blue satin sashes.  This disclosure alone should prove illuminating as any jaunty gold star placed on the pinnacle of a tree.


One of my favorite things to pull out of my stocking Mother hung with care on the arm of a musical rocking chair was a mesh pouch filled with chocolate gold coins.  Each coin individually wrapped inside embossed gold foil simulated genuine legal tender.  Though I had a sweet tooth, I hated seeing my pile of coins dwindle.


The cement floor of our basement would bear the track marks of my ball bearing roller skates which initially fit snuggly inside a fancily wrapped gift box, inviting curiosity.  Essentially flat metal soles with side clamps adjusted with a key, these skates definitely had their limitations. As if keeping one's balance wasn't challenging enough, you had to make sure your shoes were good and sturdy for those clamps to grip before you peeled out on wheels. Despite my share of spills, I'd gotten the hang of it by the time spring came around for me to venture onto the driveway.


Barbara Millicent Roberts aka Barbie, moved in with a full suitcase of clothes one Christmas, making her less than formal debut in a black and white zebra swimsuit, and sporting her signature topknot ponytail.  The first adult doll  celebrates a birthday coinciding with her manufacture by Matell, Inc. on  March 9, 1959.  Baby Boomer Barb caused quite a controversy. Criticism brewed simply because she was quite a "doll": ample bosom, demure sidelong glance, unrealistic body image, shallow preoccupation with clothing and gadgetry...Whoo Hoo!  As far as I'm concerned this cultural icon was a keeper on a par with Marilyn Monroe swiveling her hips and pursing her lips to convey "diamonds are a girl's best friend." 


Nothing like spotting a brand new beribboned steel runner snow sled propped against a wall.  I coveted the smooth feel of its varnished deck and steering bar. Our yard had the perfect embankment to whoosh down headfirst without any mighty oaks in the way to crash against.


I cannot overlook the "cool" transistor radio secured in its tan leather carrying case with a strap. I never used the earplug jacks that came with it.  No biggie that A M bandwidth produced a tinny quality with residual fading in and out.   I'd sit on my swing listening to rock 'n roll  on WICE or WPRO.  I could recite the top 100 hits of the week and won several 45 rpm records by calling in from a rotary dial phone when the DJ announced "Spin It and Win It."


Christmas 'tis the season that opens a floodgate of cherished memories and visions of sugarplums.  Chestnuts roasting by an open fire with Jack Frost nipping at our door seem to take precedence over the less favorable dog bites and bee stings, disappointments, resentments, and setbacks of yore.  Simply remembering a few of our favorite things down Memory Lane is a trip worth taking.


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Underlying Notes by Eva Pasco  An E. Quiche by Eva Pasco



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