Grandparents are amazed at today's toys

NEIGHBORS

April 05, 1994|By MAUREEN RICE

Times have changed mightily since we were children.

Toys that we and our children take for granted astound our parents, who have never seen such things until they visit with their grandchildren.

Take the gifts of the Easter bunny, which mystified my father.

My father helped to fill the baskets and plastic eggs to be hidden for the children's Easter adventure when he visited with us this weekend.

He took Nerf balls, balloons, "bubble juice" and raisins in stride.

The pop-apart eggs threw him for a loop for only a minute, after which he decided that the person who invented them deserved a medal.

The water balloon slingshots delighted him, and he spent several happy moments chuckling about what he would have done with them if he'd had the chance.

The guy who invented them has earned a place in the hearts of children for all time, he said.

Driveway chalk washes off, he said, reminiscing about our masterpieces created with the aid of rocks that gouged the driveway permanently. The person who invented driveway chalk deserves a homeowners' award, he said.

It was the stickers that did him in.

"What are these things?" he inquired, gazing at the image of Bart Simpson as though it were a newly hatched dinosaur.

"Stickers," we replied.

"Ah," he said, as though we had enlightened him.

We smiled as he adjusted his glasses for a detailed study of the colorful creations.

While we popped the eggs and packed the goodies into whatever tops and bottoms we could match with the speed of eagles, he carefully placed one sticker in each egg, smiling with glee when he actually got it to close.

As we slid the stuffed plastic orbs into plant containers, behind curtains, under tables and behind furniture, he carefully placed one in the hands of a plastic skeleton toy he gave my son for Christmas.

We could tell he was not an expert.

While he had so carefully studied the stickers that he might write a thesis, he remained mystified about their purpose until the children completely decorated him with them the next day, at which point he decided that the person who invented these things deserved to be shot.

*

It really is spring.

We've seen robins, the grass is finally getting green, and the Sykesville Parks and Recreation Department is gearing up for the third annual Sykesville Music Festival. Musicians, crafts people, artists and cooks have until April 30 to sign up for their day in the sun at Millard Cooper Park, from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. June 11.

"We hope to hear from all of our regular vendors as well as those we've never met," said Teri Kelley, who is helping to organize the event. "This is a great time for everyone, and it helps to give new bands and other local talents a chance to be seen and heard."

Performers can sign up for an hour to 90 minutes of exposure, and vendors can expect a happy crowd.

Ms. Kelley is also organizing the Concerts in the Park series this year, so groups that would like to perform under the stars this summer can contact her now, too.

Performers: Teri Kelley, 795-9480. Vendors: Claudia Whalen, 795-4970.

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