I have been reading recently about the dangers of young children being poisoned by lead paint from their toys. One large toy company has lost millions by having to take back the Chinese painted toys. None of this is my fault. I didnít send the toys to China to be painted, nor did I sign a contract for the toys to be made there.
When I was a kid, I didnít have any toys, painted or unpainted. Fisher-Price and Mattel hadnít even been heard of. If they had gone broke from selling Chinese toys with lead paint, nobody would have cared. Everybody else was broke. I did have a Garretís Snuff bottle that I could push around in the dirt and pretend it was my car. It worked pretty well.
One day it was a Chevy, the next day a Ford and then a Chrysler. Thatís all we had back then and as far as I know, all we needed. They were built right here in the United States.
Anyway, for the past two months I have had adequate time to read newspapers and suffer through daytime TV. The Bulletin has been nice enough to do reprints on stuff I wrote long ago and only a few noticed the difference. I even missed it a day or so myself. I received several e-mails congratulating me on my columns and noting how much they had improved since August. It made me feel real good.
What happened was that like Humpty-Dumpty, I had a good fall on the 28th of August. Worse still, I broke a vertaebrae which seemed to be an important part of my ability to stand or walk. As a result of all of this, I was stuck in the hospital for five days and even now, Iím not allowed to go hiking in the Big Bend or operate a wheelbarrow.
What started all this in the first place is that I got to thinking about something my Mama told me about 80 years ago. She said, best I remember, ďSon, donít ever run with the scissors.Ē I was never sure what might happen to me if I did, but for my entire life, Iíve remembered her words and wondered about it.
Aug. 28 dawned clear and hot and seemed inclined to stay that way. Except for my dog Bitsy, I was alone. It seemed to me to be a good time to run with the scissors. I went to the drawer in the kitchen, got the scissors and then took a good run toward the back door.
I had forgotten one important thing ó I couldnít run.
I bounced off the back wall a couple of times and somehow got turned completely around and landed on my backside against the wall. I knew immediately that something was broke and it wasnít the scissors. Incidentally, I havenít found them yet. Running with scissors is one problem I no longer have.
I donít have any lead paint on my toys either. Eighty years ago I didnít have any toys and today, I still donít. I still remember when my brother Ray and I found the old car battery in the dump ground. We took it home, broke it open with a hammer and played with that lead for a week or .We even tasted of it. If we had any ill effects, I donít know of them.
I still remember though at Sheppard Field at Wichita Falls during basic training in 1943, that drill sergeant would yell at me, ďMarlin, get the lead out.Ē
How did he know?
Harry Marlinís column is featured every Tuesday on the Brownwood Bulletinís Viewpoint page. E-mail him at pilgrimB17@verizon.net.