“Slinky” Accepted in the Breckenridge Fine Arts Center 25th Anniversary National Juried Show by judge Bill Ryan owner of Weiler House Fine Art Gallery in Fort Worth Texas. Breckenridge Fine Arts Center is in Breckenridge, TX. The exhibition is from July 26th – September 3rd.
My brother and I used to have Slinky competitions when we were younger. What is a Slinky you ask? It is the longest lasting toy around and perhaps the simplest toy around. The creative person who imagined this helical spring name was Richard James. The toy was created around the 1940’s. It can perform a number of tricks according to Wikipedia including traveling down a flight of steps going end over end as it stretches and reforms itself with the aid of gravity and its own momentum. Robert James got the inspiration for this toy when he accidentally knocked over a box filled with miscellaneous nuts, bolts and springs. A spring fill on his desk and leap frogged across it. The Slinky and the inspiration for it is such a testimony to the imaginary and moving forward with an idea. Who would have ever guessed it could still capture the imagination of children 76 years later.
For the competition I would have with my brother I discovered the trick to winning the competition with him was to figure out how to place your Slinky just right so it would not stop moving and loose it’s momentum in its flight down the stairs. It was always a disappointment when my Slinky would stop moving in the middle of the stairs and my brother’s would continue down quickly to the bottom. Give me one more chance I would beg and he would. This simple toy would entertain us for hours, we would laugh and play and go down the stairs get our Slinky and start all over again. It’s a good memory, I still can see the stairs we used to play on in our little red house on Royce Avenue. I have traveled back to that house recently, it’s now painted grey but the same bottled glass is in the front of the house. I wonder if the strawberry patch is still in the back corner of our city lot, and if the patch of green grass behind the garage still has the flag stones we buried our pets under when they passed. So many goldfish buried behind that garage. I don’t regret going back but the memory changed when I did but at the same time others memories surfaced.