Charley Weaver in action.
Back in the early 1970s, we were obviously entertained by rather odd toys. I couldn't imagine a parent these days pulling out her or his bartender toy and having the kids be equally enthralled (unless it was, of course, a family heirloom).
About a year and a half ago, on May 12, 2011, I took Charley Weaver out of my Dad's Deacon office at home. My parents hadn't seen Charley Weaver in action for a long time - probably 30+ years. Needless to say, they enjoyed seeing him and laughed as the smoke came out of his ears.
I think it brought back some happy memories for my Dad who was in the late stages of Alzheimer's Disease at that point. It was these little things - a toy, a flower, music, or a bowl of ice cream - that could bring incredible joy to my Dad at that point.
After my Dad died, the one thing I wanted was Charley Weaver. It was something that truly was a family heirloom, and something that had so many memories and laughs tied to it.
So, when my Mom asked what my sister, brother, and I each wanted that remind us of Dad, my Mom was surprised that out of all the things I wanted, this toy would be the thing that I would choose.
"You can choose something that has more value...something more expensive than that," she suggested.
"No...I would like to have Charley Weaver...if that's okay with you."
And it was.
So, Charley Weaver sits in his box in my office closet just like he did in my Dad's office. I'm afraid that if he would be displayed, something would happen to him. Charley Weaver will come out periodically so I can show Sophia and Olivia how the smoke comes out of his ears and his face turns red.
Seeing a family heirloom like this infrequently makes me appreciate it more...and I hope that the same excitement I had when I was young and got to see Charley Weaver in action is passed along to Sophia and Olivia.