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July 23, 2008 - Ron Flaviano
When I was a child, back in the 1970s, the toys we played with encouraged the use of our imagination. We didn't have much in terms of video games, although Pong was a thrill at the time... We amused ourselves with the likes of Tinker Toys, Lincoln Logs, and my personal favorite, Lego Blocks!

Tinker Toys were fun, but my sister and I could never manage to make the windmill work properly...probably because we were missing pieces!

My cousins had other construction toys like Erector Sets, but I really liked Lego. Now keep in mind that back in the 70s, we didn't have the complex Lego sets of today...ours were pretty basic. The most exciting pieces in my set were rooftops and windows. Even though I didn't have all of the the elaborate accessories, I managed to busy myself with the Legos. I would build tall towers, and even figured out a way to rig the garden hose into a Lego Fountain!

I must add that I really liked fountains too, and was quite dismayed when they removed the SUPER fountains from the midway at the Eastwood Mall in Niles. Anyway, in fourth grade I read Walter Lord's "A Night To Remember" for the first time. I was fascinated with the tragedy of the Titanic. This fascination spilled into the Legos, as I began building replicas of the ship out of the blocks. I would set them to sail in the stationary tubs in our basement... Oh the fun! My sister and I also had a lot of fun with the IDEAL game "Mousetrap" was really wild when all of the pieces of the trap were assembled and you got to turn the crank!

Generations of children after me had to use their imaginations less and less, as technology advanced in toy making. Don't get me wrong, I love all of the new video game systems and techno gadgets...but sometimes, simpler is better...especially when it comes to developing your imagination!


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