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Stephen Lindsley

Thanks for this one, Ben. I, too, had a wonderful, safe environment to play in as a child, and lots of kids in the neighborhood. We did play with chalk -- mostly to draw hopscotch or 4-square boundaries. I had lots of toy weapons, too, and when I couldn't find them I would fashion a sub-machine gun out of wood scraps from my basement.

A short aside: I have two cousins who are now grown, but their parents are California granola types, so the first kid was never allowed to play with any violent toys or games. When the second one came along they were more relaxed and he was more willful, so they let him have the cap guns and stuff. As it turns out, the younger child became the more gentle of mind and spirit, while the older one joined the Marines. Go figure.

Other timeless toys: cars - Matchbox or otherwise; chemistry set; magnifying glass (great for frying ants); Legos (I'm still bummed that neither of my kids ever liked them); bikes - I spent the majority of my childhood on two wheels.

I still have a lot of my toys, including my G.I Joe and a Coleco handheld Pro Football II with passing action. Maybe I should arrange an adult playdate.


Furniture and blankets; aka, fort, castle, cave, tent, spaceship. An architecture of odd angles, serendipitous shelves, and countless windows. Joe and I built one in our apartment last year.

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