Sweet Nostalgia

When I was gro wing up, getting to go and see professional sports was always a highlight.  If I knew I was going to see my Maple Leafs, Argosor Blue Jays I wouldn’t stop thinking about it. I looked forward to it with the same nervous anticipation as Christmas Day.

When I got to the Maple Leaf Gardens, or Exhibition Stadium I was giddy with excitement.  My eyes were wide open to see everything.  Whichever adult was with me probably wondered why I wasn’t walking in a straight line and bumping into everything.  There was so much to see, so much too experience.

I have such fond memories of the games, the excitement, the crowds, the energy, the snacks.  I remember that at Maple Leaf Gardensthe cokes came with a cellophane cover instead of a plastic lid. I remember the idea of “family size cokes”, popcorn boxes and hotdogs.

I remember most of the games I have been to.  I remember my first Leaf game, my first Argo game, and I remember that first Blue Jay game.  I even remember my first Marlie game (and the parade of flattened popcorn boxes that made their way down from the grey seats).

I started collecting Maple Leaf memorabilia that first game I went to.  I still have the team photo and the puck from that game.  I can’t imagine every parting with them.  As you can see from the ticket stubs above, I don’t part with much.

These days, though I have been to more than my fair share of games, I still sometimes catch that same sense of wonder that I had. When I go alone, I try to drink in the atmosphere as much as possible.  I check the souvenir stands, I listen to the scalpers and the vendors barking at people and I wonder what kind of snacks they have.

Printing technology has come a long way..so have prices.
I hope it is no different today.  I hope kids don’t take these great days for granted.  I guess, for their parents, these moments must be magical.

I don’t keep many of the ticket stubs these days.  I am not sure why, but I guess there is something different about seeing a game as an adult and as a child.  Things are different, but I would still go to a game at the drop of a hat.

I would love to hear about any of my reader’s first pro sports experience.

Leggo my Lego

Owing to a transit strike and too much time to kill before I could get a ride home I found myself doing something I rarely do.  I did a complete tour of a shopping mall at a leisurely pace.  Normally I am a get in, get what you came for and then get out kind of person. I can’t really say I had a great time, but it wasn’t a complete waste because I came across the Lego store.

I have always liked Lego, but never really had any.  I had one set when I was a child. but it wasn’t a huge “megaset.”  I could maybe build a small house or car, as long as colour symmetry wasn’t a priority.  If you’ve read my blog called The Massive Collection and the Mind of a Child you might remember my friend’s Playmobil collection.  What I didn’t mention was that he also had a very impressive collection of Lego. Impressive because he had enough Lego to build a small village of houses, all tastefully colour coordinated.  I was pretty jealous, but we played with it together often enough that I only have good memories of it.

The Lego store is a pretty amazing place.  I hadn’t realized how many products they had.  There were so many cool kits and stuff that I had no idea they made.  For a moment….. actually longer than a moment, I was a kid again.

I spotted that Lego train and made those important financial calculations that all hobbyists have to do.  It is a complicated formula involving the  (fun quotient X the building time X the buddy brag factor )/ (the cost factor + the once finished dust collector factor+ the wasted money factor)
I walked out of the store without a box of shiny new Lego and a healthy respect for the store clerks who patiently dealt with children (including one who listed every kit he owned in alphabetical, then chronological order.)  And although I managed to thwart the temptation, the seed has been planted, the need has been created.  Only time will tell where this will lead.