When They’re Gone They’re Gone (ms)

At one time in my life I imagined that those toy trucks found usually at  Christmas would someday become valuable collectors items. I envisioned a wonderful markup that would enable my retirement to some sunny island where I might take up a hobby like counting grains of sand at the beach. Alas, my planning went for naught.

Seems 135 million other folks had the same idea and the ever eager companies behind said trucks willingly met the demand and then some. The result was a glutted market that offered no space for huge profit margins. Rather, the selling price was barely able to claw its way up to the break even level. With my hopes and dreams for a fast million hopelessly dashed the trucks were resigned to shelves in various rooms as I set off in search of a new money making venture. Then, along came our first grandson.

Boys have, I think, an inherent interest in trucks, an interest which never really goes away no matter the age of the boy. It wasn’t long before he convinced me that it was better to play with the trucks than to simply look at their boxes stacked on the shelves. The boy is obviously wise beyond his years.

We brought them down a few at a time and grudgingly I would add one or two more each time he came to visit. Before long we had a virtual truck stop in a spare room.

I cannot begin to count the hours we have spent holding road races, building wood block towns for the trucks to drive in or simply crashing them together. I can report they’ve held up remarkably well though we have sent a few off to the garage for repairs. Now that a second grandson is coming of trucking age I expect a few more years of the same goings on much to our mutual delight.

This morning I ambled in to the spare room and decided to at least try make a reasonable pile of the tankers, fire trucks, old delivery wagons and the like which have made the floor of the room something of an obstacle course. I began stacking them as best I could (the boxes have long ago been destroyed) and fond memories of times well spent with nearly every one came to mind. The value of that play time far exceeds the value of the trucks on the open market.

The pile is formidable and rather shaky and will last only until the next time the grandsons come over. It will come apart in moments and I won’t say much about it. I realized a long time ago that we all go through stages in life and our grandkids are at the truck stage but soon the oldest one will move on followed shortly thereafter by the other. Truck play time will go with them.

I will be left with a tangle of ruined vehicles that have done their best to survive the imaginations of young children. I will also be left with some marvelous memories painted by two young boys and an older one of undetermined age.

–Mike Stevens

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~ by admin on July 26, 2011.

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