Friday, November 18, 2005

Feeling Retro

Doing some pre-holiday cleaning up this weekend and I'm starting with some of my old bookmarks. I found one I'd forgotten about completely: Feeling Retro.

Their home page welcomes you with "If you were born around 1960 (give or take a few years) you might actually like this site." Basically, it's a bunch of links and "Share A Memory" pages for people who grew up in the '60s and '70s, or what was known for about five minutes as "Generation Jones."

I shared a memory about a toy called Kenner's Give-A-Show Projector. This was a large flashlight with a slot in it, and you would pass this little strip of slides with captions on them through the slot and project a movie on the wall, ideally from about four feet away. (Yes, kids, this is how we amused ourselves in the days before VCR's and computers.)

The little disclaimer when you submit a memory said that all memories are subject to an approval process before being posted to the site, presumably to avoid a page of spam and "you suck." But in case my memory isn't approved, here it is for posterity:
My sister and I got a Give-A-Show Projector for Christmas 1963. There were a few packets of strips, too. One packet was those Dick Tracy cartoons that were on every afternoon at the time, which would probably not run anywhere now because the ethnic stereotypes were outrageous: Joe Jitsu, Go-Go Gomez, etc.

It took about five minutes of playing with the projector the regular way before we got bored silly and began pointing it at each other. There was this one panel where Joe Jitsu is holding a magnifying glass up to his eye and looking through it so that his eye filled the whole panel. That one was our favorite: We'd scream "Aaagghhh! The Big Eye!" and shine the projector at each other's faces. It's amazing we didn't burn each other's retinas out.

Then if a grown-up came in to see what we were screaming about, we'd shine it at them, too.

If they accept that one, I'll share my other memories of playthings past: Melting crayons on top of the radiator in the frying pan of my Roy Rogers/Dale Evans "Home on the Range" cook set (just try scraping them off) and taking bets with my sister on what our pull-the-string talking dolls would say next.

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