Merry Christmas to my readers, friends and fellow co-workers for ENR! Last year, I talked of favorite Christmas presents of my happy childhood and the article seemed to go over well. So well, in fact, that I have decided to remember even more of those cherished gifts from my childhood! So without further adieu, I shall start with something that EVERYONE young or old should know of or remember -- The View Master!
The View Master has been around for DECADES, and had been even back when I was just a child. The View Master was originally meant to be an alternative to the scenic postcard. It soon became much more than that. It became a sensation! The View Master endures to this day, even though it is a "low-tech" device. It came with a viewer and a stack of reels. The reels had fourteen film images (two of each seven) that would give you a 3-D image when you looked through the eyepieces of the Viewer. I remember getting my first View Master and reels back in the 70's. It came with a small, round, white canister with seven reels inside. I LOVED the toy and soon, I was buying more and more reels at the local toy store.
When you would put a reel into the View Master and looked through the eyepieces, you could see the image perfectly. I used to pretend that the View Master was a small theater and the black space between my eyes and the picture was full of people watching the "movie" (what can I say? I was always an imaginative kid)! Sadly I donated the huge stack of reels to a underprivileged little boy in my neighborhood. I was twelve and thought that I had outgrown them. I'd love to have those back now!
I remember one gift that I received BEFORE Christmas! I happened to walk into the dining room, just as my mother was preparing to wrap the gift, so she just went ahead and gave me the present then. It was a 45 record called "The Amazing Spider- Man - The Mad Hatter Of Manhattan"! It was put out by Peter Pan Records (this was before they called themselves Power Records). I loved the record! It was almost like an comic book come to life! And what's more, I still have that record !! It is in my book room, wrapped in plastic and on a shelf with many other old favorites!
And speaking of records, that brings me to my next story! One year, I received an awesome Christmas record with various fun Christmas songs sung by a group calling themselves "The Peter Pan Caroleers". The album called Santa Claus Is Coming To Town featured such tunes as "The Weatherman's Prayer", "The Christmas Tree That Ran Away", "Ten Thousand Santa Clauses", "The North Pole Express" and "364 Days In The Year!" amongst some other gems! I played that record over and over again every time that Christmas rolled around ! If any of my readers would like to hear those fun old children's tunes, they are available to view on YouTube ! And yes, I still have this album as well! I got many, many more Power Records over the years with many different superheroes, TV shows (Kojak had at least one) and movies that became favorites (all of those are available to view/listen to on YouTube) I recommend hem highly!
I miss the great stuff that I do not have any more, but I cherish the items from my childhood that I still have! These are treasures that I have kept for 40+ years!! And as always, I thank my mother and father for providing me with those well loved toys, comics, books, magazines and more over the years! I hope that my readers had a joyous Christmas, like the ones that I enjoyed back in the day! Merry Christmas to you all!