I found my old Etch A Sketch in the latest and last sort-out of my house. (It--The house's gone now, lost to foreclosure.)
"My Etch a Sketch was a constant source of frustration," says my friend Lis (We've known each other since second grade). "To make diagonal lines, you had to move both knobs perfectly. I couldn’t think of anything to make that consisted of squares and rectangles, so I just filed it in my junk pile."
Teri, the Cheeky Librarian, didn't have one.
"No, I did not have an Etch a Sketch--we equated that to being rich, for some reason, as in the rich relatives had one of those.," Teri says. "Always asked for one, not sure what the cost was or the reason why mom didn't get us one (she was good in providing our other needs), and Dad, he was probably just clueless.
"I saw an app that would turn my iPad into one (I think it was a joke), but I am past the 'want' now, I guess. I remember figuring out how to do curved lines on my cousin's, and the sense of accomplishing something unique."
Ree, who is in his 80s, was an adult by the time the toy came out. "I've only played with it once in awhile. It belonged to the neighbors' kids." Ree says that in his family children were not given "individual toys," but rather played with board games like Monopoly and Chinese checkers. "Family toys," he says.
My two sons played with my Etch a Sketch, but not often. Maybe it did not engage them? They had so many other things--Gameboys and electronic toys, as well as Legos and blocks and building toys of all sorts.
I asked Younger Son about this when I saw him the other day, and he surprised me with his answer: "It's too restricting. You always had to make lines."
Did you have one of these classic toys? If so, do you have any stories to share? Please post a comment below. Thanks, Jeanne
For the details: Etch a Sketch
@ jeanne marie sather 2013.