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GUEST COLUMN: Let’s talk about toys

Pam Terrell Walker col sig

Pam Terrell Walker, a native of Rome, is a paralegal in Calhoun. Readers may email her at

This is that time of year when we all think so much about toys because Christmas is coming. Our children and grandchildren let us know what they want for Christmas.

My grandchildren are both very young. These days, among other things, I get them puzzles, kaleidoscopes, Color Forms, and Picture Triominoes for Christmas. We like going places, doing things and making new memories. Therefore, we give the children tickets for Christmas. Tickets to fun places like the Center for Puppetry Arts.

When I was in the 1st grade I got a Tiny Tears doll for Christmas. I still have the doll, in the original clothes, and the original doll cradle.

As a child, my friends and I were often at each other’s house playing with Barbie dolls. When it was time to go, we packed up the clothes, the accessories, and the dolls into the cases in which they came and went home. My friends shoved their dolls in the case any old way. I was horrified to see them not paying careful attention to the tangled mess they were making of the doll’s hair!

I still have my Barbie dolls, and the original clothes. And, may I say, my Barbie dolls’ hair is not snarled and tangled!

One year I got a new bicycle, a Madame Alexander doll, some games, and an Etch-A-Sketch for Christmas. I still have the doll, in the original clothes. I wish I still had that Etch-A-Sketch.

When I was in the 2nd grade, I got a Baby Chatty Cathy doll for Christmas. The doll had an innovative pull-string mechanism, which used a small internal turntable, needle and record, allowing it to talk.

Ah yes. The year I got the Baby Chatty Cathy doll, I woke up on Christmas morning with German red measles!

In the sixties, we had such great toys. The toddlers had Jack-in-the-Box; (spinning) tops; pull toys; and kaleidoscopes. The grade school children had Slinky, Etch-A-Sketch, Silly Putty, Rock ’Em Sock ’Em Robots, Electric Football, Matchbox cars, Hot Wheels car racing sets, Easy-Bake Ovens and Shirley Temple tea sets. Remember going to young Fahy’s in downtown Rome? I do. That’s where you could find all of these toys! I thought it was absolutely Santa’s workshop. There was every doll and game and toy I could imagine in that store.

Although I always really enjoyed playing dolls, riding my bicycle was what I liked to do best. Nowadays I have a Trek 10-speed bicycle which, weather permitting, I ride as much as I can.

I have several of the dolls I had as a child. Even though the clothes are now aging and a trifle threadbare, those dolls are treasured possessions nonetheless.

Even if you are not particularly sentimental, think back on the toys you got for Christmas through the years. Try to recall how much fun it was being surprised on Christmas morning. See if you can re-capture that magic. Last, but not least, enjoy shopping for toys for your children and grandchildren.

Native Roman Pam Walker, a very busy paralegal, welcomes your email to her at