Sunday, May 3, 2020

Sentimental Sundays - 5th Grade Confidential

Time to check out some more of my old crap.

I've still got a dozen or so Micro Machines from my childhood toy collection. I loved the things, but always seemed to me they were more expensive than they should have been. So small, after all! I'm not a big "car guy" but this is a '57 Chevy, right? Cool car. If I won the lottery, I'd probably pick me up one of those to cruise around on pleasant Sunday afternoons.

I've had this lava lamp for a long time. Recently brought it "out of storage" and set it up in my little temporary "work station" area where I do much of my work-from-home stuff. Pretty neat. Also works well as a hand-warmer, as it gets quite hot, but not hot enough to burn you if you want to hold it for a moment.

I never really collected stamps, but the collecting gene was strong enough in me to hold onto interesting stamps that might have fallen in my lap as a youth. The 25¢ Yosemite stamp is uncanceled, though by the back you can tell it's been used. Then there are a couple canceled non-US stamps. I'm sure none of this is worth anything (though I might be able to get away with using the Yosemite stamp as a quarter's worth of postage), but interesting enough not to throw away, I suppose. Not sure how I came into these 2 foreign stamps.. probably an aunt of mine or maybe a family friend sent us a postcard with them or something like that.

Hey, it's my old geode! The perennial "show and tell" standby. Speaking of passive collections of my younger days, I also have a rock collection from back then, and this geode is among the few highlights. It's about the size of a racquetball when the halves are put together. Not super impressive as far as geodes go (Google image search), as it only has a tiny flicker of shiny crystals in there. But still cool to a kid.

Ooh, I'm happy to find this thing-- I hadn't seen it in a while and was worried maybe I had lost it at some point over the years. It's a metal bottle-opener from Peru featuring what I'm guessing is a llama.

I think I've told the story here before about how in Mr. Pedrazzi's 5th grade class, when it was your time as "student of the week" or whatever, you got to pick out a neat item from a small box of goodies Mr. Pedrazzi would bring in. Future ballplayer Marcus Giles was in this class with me, and he got a slingshot that was the envy of all the boys in class. (And we're talking a legit slingshot-- meaning it was a real, manufactured, metal and rubber slingshot, not just a conveniently shaped stick with a rubberband that the rest of us had to be content with.)

The item I eventually ended up with wasn't as cool as a slingshot, but I was still pretty happy with the neat old bottle opener from a distant land of long ago.

No markings on the back, but I'd guess it's probably from the 60s or 70s. I can imagine it cranked caps off plenty of pop and suds in its prime. It's not "in service" currently, packed away with my childhood crap, but I might use it to open a beer later today for the heck of it.

Always loved Ghostbusters as a kid. This Stay Puft Marshmallow Man was a way to sneak a "toy" into my pencil case.

See, it's a pencil-sharpener.

That's probably enough for today. Normally I like to squeeze in something baseball related.. but I suppose I mentioned Marcus Giles, so that's close enough.

Thanks for reading and have a great week.


  1. All good stuff. That bottle opener is especially cool.

  2. That's a 1960 Micro Machines! I photo documented my collection but lost them when my remote hard drive crashed, haven't had it in me to reshoot them. I have about a thousand of them since I bought some collections to add to the ones I got new.

    I'm also a stamp collector but kind of low key. I can basically only work on the collection in summer because the fan is always on otherwise and they blow away. I think I read that reusing stamps is an actual crime, so I'd suggest not doing that.

    1. Technically yes, though you'd really need to go nuts for them to bother prosecuting you. I *may* have done this once or twiiiice. Once, I was lazy about it and the letter was simply returned to me with no explanation, though the subtext was "come on, man.. you gotta do better than that to fool us."

  3. Micro Machines! Nice. I remember owning some Star Wars ones in the 90's. And I used to have a lava lamp in my classroom until someone broke it. I should look into getting a new one when we eventually get back into our classrooms.

  4. Micro Machines were expensive, but damn did they have some neat sets! I loved the McDonald's Ghostbusters school supplies, but could never bring myself to use them.

  5. Very cool Stay Puft! I could never make myself use those kind of things. My parent didn’t get me a lot of figures so I would use whatever I could for them

  6. It's funny...the mere mention of Micro-Machines and I can instantaneously hear the commercial with the guy who was famous for talking super-fast!

  7. Between the slingshot and the llama-shaped bottle opener, I think you got the better of the deal now that you and Mr. Giles are adults ;-)

  8. I enjoy these types of post, great stuff. My wife and I have been talking recently about getting a lava lamp. Had an orange liquid one with a black base in my room back in the day and loved that thing. I remember mine getting hot enough that I think I could have indeed burned my hands on it!

  9. I was just watching the History of Micro Machines on YouTube. The channel is Toy Galaxy and it is hosted by Dan Larson. I highly suggest watching it if you are into learning histories of toy lines.