Ok, it’s Saturday, and my son, who is eight (8) years old, is riding with me in the “Ole-Girl” pickup truck (1972 GMC Sierra) as we travel together on the way to somewhere.
He is talking pretty much non-stop, excitedly going through his backpack showing me all of his Hot Wheel cars, and commenting on them, telling me how fast each will go, and which one is his “favorite one”. He has a lot of “favorites”, and I enjoy listening to him talk and how he appreciates the things he has to play with.
When I buy him Hot Wheels cars as gifts, I typically buy him the “classic, real looking car” toys, and an occasional cool looking hot rod. I keep all of the Corvettes and Pickup Trucks for my own collection (he borrows those once in a while to play with carefully, while his cars get run off the table, and tossed around and walked on without as much care as I wish he had).
I’ve been teaching him the names of the old cars this way.
When he doesn’t know the name of the car by memory, he’ll turn it over and read the bottom of it to me.
He says, “What’s Mal…Malis….Malisaw… what’s this say Dad?”
I stick out my hand and he gives me the car, and I look at it through my trifocals and say to him, “Malaysia…that’s where it’s built.”
Then he comes to another car, “Th…Th…Th-land? What’s this one say Dad?”
I look at it and say, “Thailand, that’s where it’s built.”
He’s quiet for a long awhile, and he says, “When I grow up I want to live in Thailand!”
I respond, “What? Why would you want to move to Thailand?”
He quickly replies, “That’s where all of the cool toys are made, and I want to make toys for children when I grow up.”
I ponder that one for the rest of the ride, all the rest of the day, and then also on the ride back home.
Back at home Saturday night, I pull down from the shelf my own Hot Wheels car collection (I have all of my old toys) to see what they say on the bottom.
These old cars are ones I collected as a kid, and they are kept up out of reach of today’s kids.
My cars are all metal, and heavy, and feel really goooood in the hand, and they quickly bring back a fun flood of memories. My cars ranged in age from 1967-1972, and my cars are stamped on the bottom “USA”.
However, there is one plastic topped car in my collection, and it’s really a piece of junk, and I quickly remember that as a kid, this car was always the slowest one I had, and I didn’t played with it as much.
I’m curious and turn it over, and it has “1974 Malaysia” stamped on the bottom.
Enough Said, it’s a sad enough story as it is.
You want to fix this economy?
Go make something USA….before all of our kids leave!
Thanks for reading,
Mark DeCou – “Proud to be called a blue-collar working American that still makes something”
-- Mark DeCou - American Contemporary Craft Artisan - www.decoustudio.com