Are you ready? Come on along and read some homespun poetry as well as a jot and tittle regarding distinguished poets and their works. Gael offers a positive balance of her own nostalgia notes and poetic meanderings with those of others. [Editor's note: Gael no longer contributes to Silver Planet, but we have made her archived blog entries available as a service to our readers.]
I was surprised at the response to Barn Tales, my recent blog entry about wooden toys. Silver Planet members sent in comments, and personal emails gathered in my office in-box from friends who wanted to educate me on the value of delightful wooden toys. I learned all sorts of neat things.
I found out that people collect and proudly display their wooden toys. Some people refinish their childhood toys and have them on display. What a wonderful hobby—I really had no idea! A kind reader sent me this picture of a classic wooden truck that she received as an employee during a Campbell’s Soup Company promotional in 1987. How cute is that?!
Just for fun, I did some research for a second article on wooden toys. No barn snapshots or poems this time, unless you really do see poetry in wonderful handmade trucks—and I am happy to say that some people do.
I learned that New England has been a foremost producer of unique, high-quality, all-natural wooden toys for a century or more. Today, there is a burgeoning Internet company in Vermont. I heard from a friend who patronizes this online company to shop for her grandkids. She feels that wooden toys cannot be topped for their durability and beauty. Plus, they lack the toxins of plastic toys. Some will become treasured heirlooms.
One Silver Sage reader suggested looking around flea markets for used wooden toys—what a great idea! Treasures can indeed be found there.
Handmade wooden toy classics, especially those no longer made, can be worth quite a bit of money to collectors, and they would certainly be a matchless gift.
I also discovered companies that offer plans/drawings for those who do woodworking and enjoy creating wooden toys from start to finish. Another company sells unfinished wooden toys for the collector who wants to safely custom design the finish and colors from the git-go. Who knew?
What a wonderful world of surprises we find when we do a little investigating!
By Gael Stuart
The Silver Sage Blog