Up & Down Commerce St. – Dec. 18

Published 12:37 pm Tuesday, December 21, 2010

We plucked ourselves a mighty fine Christmas tree from Marvin’s this weekend. We know: we waited awhile. Most folks had their holiday accents up right after Thanksgiving. We apologize. We’re big procrastinators.

Pickings were slim at Marvin’s, (as could be expected at such a late hour) but we found ourselves a nice Douglas fir tree approximately eight foot in length. We complimented it with several strings of colored lights (contemplating for a moment the old-fashioned ones with big bulbs before moving on), and a tree stand. We then retrieved a handsaw from the parents home (of the several available, we somehow selected the dullest one), and spent a substantial amount of time trying to saw the required one-inch from the base of that blamed tree. In the blustery cold weather that was Sunday afternoon, you will understand our frustrations.

The requisite inch removed – one ravaged right shoulder and arm later – we hauled the tree to the front door where our Significant Other was thoroughly upset at all the needles said tree was producing. Significant Other would have preferred us to stay outside and “shake” the tree until it had deposited ALL of its needles. The wind blowing as frigid as it was, we declined.
Long story short, we have joined the merry makers. The tree, enshrined in ornaments and lights, sits by the fireplace.

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It’s not bad. Not bad at all.
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Pack 45 was present at the Greenville City Council meeting this past Monday. It was the Scouts opportunity to learn about local government and they braved chilly temperatures to do it. Councilman Jeddo Bell recognized several of the Scouts from his tenure teaching French at the elementary school last year.

Scouting, to us, remains one of the most sacred of American traditions. It’s a shame more of our youth (and parents) do not take advantage of this opportunity.
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The most popular toys in America in the early part of the 20th Century: Buddy L Express dump truck and Parker Brothers Wonderful Game of Oz (1921), Doctor Play Bag and the Tortoise and Hare game (1922), Chinese Checkers game and the York Western cap gun (1923), Bye-Lo-Baby doll and Barney Google scooter (1924), Felix the Cat, and the Arcade Mack dump truck (1925), Peter Pan board game and Bonnie babe doll (1926), Spirit of St. Louis model airplane, and Tootsie Toy dollhouse (1927), Metalcraft Zeppelin model kit, the Yo-Yo, and the Sunbeam Race pedal car (1928), American Flyer model train set and the Popeye Paddle and Ball toy (1929).

But, of course, as the decades have passed, toys have coupled with technology to create some truly imaginary (and costly) pieces.

For example, this year parents can purchase their tots Bigfoot, 14 inches tall with a remote control. He does flips, he walks, and is fully rechargeable because who wants to buy expensive batters after you’ve just paid $100 for your child’s very own walking myth?

The Nerf-N-Strike Stampede ECS, which is basically a Transformer that looks like gun. For over $50 your child can dominate the Nerf wars on your block. The gun is so big it actually has a shield attached to it. It requires six “D” batteries so you’ll have to set aside part of your tax refund for future battles.

The Spy Net Video Watch. Your budding James Bond can record 30 minutes of video or over two hours of audio. While it will only set you back a couple of twenties, do you really think allowing your children access to something that could result in the national media descending on your home like locusts for the next “controversial” YouTube clip?