Back in the days when the words "Some assembly required" meant that you had to have a tool-box, we had to use our imagination to play and there were a variety of basic toys to help us do so. I was lucky enough to own a toy that sparked my imagination -- it was an all-metal, recumbent ride-on rocket-plane, by Mattel, designed to look like the then-popular X-15 supersonic aircraft.
This toy was special to me because it was given to me by my grandfather, who was a fuel systems specialist at the Air Force Flight Test Center at Edwards Air Force Base in support of this amazing aircraft. Little did I know then that someday I too, would have the opportunity to work at Edwards - not on planes but on computers as a technology consultant and trainer at the Flight Test Center.
Here I am, flying over my front yard
With flight stick in hand, I would cruise down the sidewalk, sometimes for hours, carrying out various missions to defend our country. Then, I would bank left and head for home to a glass of Nestle's, a plate of fresh baked cookies, and to catch up on the latest episode of Gilligan and Batman on our 13" black and white television. Finally, I would return to the skies and to complete my next mission.
A play station, was whatever was in front of us at the time. Whether it was a cool toy such as my X-15, or a pair of make-shift collapsible swords, made from a broken set of rabbit ears, there was always adventure to be found at play, and the best toys did not require batteries, Just imagination.
Those were great times.