Toy memories in the attic – vintage style

on November 30 | in Lifestyle, Uncategorized | by | with 32 Comments

Toy Memories in the Attic, vintage style. A story about childhood memories recovered from dusty boxes, saved from a scary attic. By Funky Junk Interiors featured on FOLK Magazine's blog

The farmhouse I grew up in had an attic just like in the movies. A slightly undersized slatted wooden door with about 20 layers of paint, wearing a worn black latch would greet you with the ultimate creak when it was time to snoop in the deep dark unknown for a spell.

We had a big family that didn’t like throwing clutter out, so Mom stashed all kinds of strange stuff in there.  In my eyes, it was just boxes stacked in musty, dark quarters. But to my Mom, they were priceless artifacts that were there for a reason.

Every once in a while, Mom would ask me to venture into the attic to fetch something. So not my favorite thing to do, but I obliged. The strange little door always led to a funky smell inside complete muffled darkness. Holding my breath, I forced myself to stretch my arm (not walk) into the dark unknown, waving my hand aimlessly in the black hole until I felt ‘the string’.

Praying the string wasn’t a spiderweb, “clickclick” flooded the space with dim brightness, exposing a steep ceiling of framework and insulation. The attic wasn’t pretty, but it was romantically functional in an old rambling farmhouse sort of way.

I’d tiptoe on the wooden planks that were layered on top of the rafters, greeted with a cold draftiness that circled around my feet. Shivering and pulling my sweater a little tighter around my shoulders, I’d search for the requested objects of desire, rushing out once it was firmly grasped in hand.

Eventually, Mom sold the farm after Dad’s passing. That meant a really full attic to deal with. So when it was time to clean out the old farmhouse, the deal was, each kid got their own stuff back. Ask an adult with an already full house if they want a bunch of extras that would never really see the light of day again and you aren’t so eager to take part. But it is what it is so I had to venture back into the scary attic one last time.

Toy Memories in the Attic, vintage style. A story about childhood memories recovered from dusty boxes, saved from a scary attic. By Funky Junk Interiors featured on FOLK Magazine's blog

Grabbing a flashlight as backup, the narrow beam weaved it’s way through layers of irregular boxes, a giant fish tank, hippie clothes and… my toys. MY TOYS!

Toy Memories in the Attic, vintage style. A story about childhood memories recovered from dusty boxes, saved from a scary attic. By Funky Junk Interiors featured on FOLK Magazine's blog

Toy Memories in the Attic, vintage style. A story about childhood memories recovered from dusty boxes, saved from a scary attic. By Funky Junk Interiors featured on FOLK Magazine's blog

Cracking open a dusty lid, an Easy Bake oven cradled against my Chrissy doll emerged, along with a mini playback of Toy Story.  It was as if all my treasures were saying, “Love me again, please?”

My attic today isn’t quite as ‘romantic’ as the one back on the farm. It’s simply a storage area under the stairway. But what’s more important is the preserved memories inside each and every precious dust covered box.

Toy Memories in the Attic, vintage style. A story about childhood memories recovered from dusty boxes, saved from a scary attic. By Funky Junk Interiors featured on FOLK Magazine's blog

Toy Memories in the Attic, vintage style. A story about childhood memories recovered from dusty boxes, saved from a scary attic. By Funky Junk Interiors featured on FOLK Magazine's blog

Jane West with her plastic beige clothing that dated my brother’s GI Joe.

Clackers that happily bruised my hand.

A Footsie - Toy Memories in the Attic, vintage style. A story about childhood memories recovered from dusty boxes, saved from a scary attic. By Funky Junk Interiors featured on FOLK Magazine's blog

A Footsee that kept me breathless to keep spinning.

Spirograph that always messed up right at the very end of a design, sending the tiny pins spinning.

Toy Memories in the Attic, vintage style. A story about childhood memories recovered from dusty boxes, saved from a scary attic. By Funky Junk Interiors featured on FOLK Magazine's blog

Toy Memories in the Attic, vintage style. A story about childhood memories recovered from dusty boxes, saved from a scary attic. By Funky Junk Interiors featured on FOLK Magazine's blog

Toy Memories in the Attic, vintage style. A story about childhood memories recovered from dusty boxes, saved from a scary attic. By Funky Junk Interiors featured on FOLK Magazine's blog

Barbie and her elite wardrobe, handmade from remnants by my sister .

The bright aqua Easy Bake Oven I used with my brother, in which I doubt we ever allowed any of the cakes to fully bake.

Etch A Sketch, where I felt like the quality of my drawings were going to earn a grand prize.

Precious, precious memories and hours of entertainment!

Mom was right. I’m really glad she didn’t throw much away. Unfortunately, I’ve carried on her trait in a big way with my own son, keeping a little too much perhaps. Which really translates to…

I need a big, dark, scary attic of my own!

Did you keep your childhood toys? Which ones were your favorites?

Funky Junk Interiors - Donna, contributor for FOLK Magazine and blog

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32 Responses to Toy memories in the attic – vintage style

  1. Kelly Eclectically Vintage says:

    Donna,
    I was lucky enough to raid my mom-in-laws attic. She threw nothing away and toys and games are piled high in her musty attic. Every time I go, I try to avert my hubs attention as I pile things into my car. He rolls his eyes and I do my little happy dance.

    My favorite is his old metal pedal fire truck! It’s the perfect Christmas decoration too.

    Kelly

  2. Amy Lindsey says:

    I loved seeing your old toys, looks like we had alot of the same ones! Jane West, I had forgotten about her! And the Footsee too! I have a small collection of well loved and well played with Madame Alexander dolls, my favorites are my “Scarlett O’Hara” doll and my “Amy” from Little Women doll. Also, a rag tag assortment of Barbies, Ken (70′s version with removeable facial hair!) and Skipper dolls with their clothes and accessories. I have sons, not daughters, so they never appreciated them, but I’ll save all my dolls, just in case I have grand daughters someday.

  3. Nanci says:

    I Loved my Mrs. Beasley doll!!! Best Christmas gift ever! I still have her today, and an
    ocassional hug from her is life altering!! Thanks for sharing your toys with us.
    Merry Christmas
    Nanci

  4. I do still have one of my favorite stuffed animals from when I was little. Jeffey has a hole in his head – but I still have him. Both of my kids have a particular stuffed animal that they are very, very attached to. . . it makes my heart ache to think of a time when they might be able to let them go to a box in the attic. I’ve promised myself (and Pooh Bear and Snuggle Bunny) that I will keep them safe – till the kids might want them again.

  5. Mar says:

    Thanks for that walk down memory lane!! When you mentioned the “Chrissy”doll, I was excited to see it…but didn’t :( Wasn’t Chrissie the doll that when you pushed in her belly button, you could pull her pony tail out longer? Ahhhh…the memories! Those were the good ole days! If you have a pic of the “Chrissy” that I remember, I’d love to see her!! Thanks for the smiles today :)

  6. katey says:

    Oh Jane West. She never would stay on that horse. I do not have any of my toys sadly but my husband’s mom saved all of his and he has all the boys in the collection including the horses. Love your collection. I had a lemon drop that I spun on my ankle and I could do that AND the hula hoop at the same time. Quite a feat! Thank you for sharing these great memories.

  7. Great story, Donna. I, just the other day, showed my daughter my “clackers,” from the 70s. I have a box of a few things, including some trolls which you didn’t mention. I just can’t throw it all out! In fact I have a large collection of hockey cards that are worth something, I’m sure.

  8. Love this post Donna, brought back so many memories! My favorite childhood toys were” a spirograph, my Barbies (which I confess to paying with until about 15 years old..smile) and I had this fashion show thing where you would pick the models clothes and they were little plates you switched out and then you put them under paper and would use colored pencils and design their clothes by rubbing the pencil across the plates…I wish I could remember what it was called, but I LOVED it! I thought I was a budding fashion designer. ;)

    Heather

  9. Lisa Jochim says:

    Hi Donna,
    First of all… love love love your blog. I have many of my favorite childhood toys in my attic in Texas. A three piece wooden fisher price train, a pull toy snoopy dog, a wooden duck set with mother leading the pack.. and a few others I can’t remember off hand. But I brought with me to Holland my beloved real china tea set. It’s just precious to me and I wasn’t leaving home without it. Thank you again for a wonderful post.

    Lisa
    americangirlinholland.blogspot

    • Lisa, I love that you hung onto your china set. My mom felt so bad about me playing with my sister’s all the time, she finally buckled down and got me my own. It was very elegant. But secretly, I still preferred my sister’s. We’ll just keep that our little secret though…

  10. Pam says:

    I had a Jane West doll and a horse to go with it. Her rubber clothes were pretty cool, but they didn’t fare too well in my Mom’s hot attic. I think I had a Footsie too. When we sold my Mom’s house we all had to clean out the attic and it was such a bittersweet event. I only took a few of my toys with me and the rest was sent to auction. I’d die to have my tin dollhouse back though – would make a cool birdhouse.

  11. Those tin doll houses were the coolest! The newer plastic ones that came out later didn’t even remotely compare to the good’ ol massive ‘bent metal’ huge ones. All these wonderful comments made me realize just how much we use to have… wow.

  12. stacey stuwe says:

    Great Memories!!! Nobody seems to remember, but i had a Barbie that would tan!! Does anyone else remember that??

  13. Lucy says:

    I just love this post Donna …:) Barbie was still a hottie then …ha

  14. Arcia says:

    gosh, I just love remembering all the toys we had. I still have a lot of my Barbies and oodles of clothes. An old tin spinning top. a few pieces of the little roses tea set. a doll that when you turn her upside down and back she cries and her eyes move. 3 different sizes of the trolls. I still laugh when I think of my easy bake oven. I had a Midge doll and my brother cut her hair off. I have my Girl Scout book and a few badges. I kept a few of both my girls troop items also. I have 2 view masters that my grandson and I still use.I could go on with all the things my mom kept!

  15. You literally just walked me through my childhood. I had that Easy Bake Oven, Chrissy, Spirograph, The “Me Too” book, Footsie, and Barbie’s of course! Thanks for the memories, Donna!!

  16. Arcia says:

    going through pictures today I found one of my brother with his Fred Flintstone punching bag. we laughed that we could sure use him some days. another one with him sleeping with his Bozo doll.

  17. Arcia says:

    I told everyone at work about this site and I was so thrilled see how happy it made so many people to tell the tales of their childhood toys. Thanks !

  18. Kathleen McLain says:

    I am going through my dads house now as he is in a nursing home. I can’t believe I did not do this years ago as my mom passed away 20 years ago.I had already brought home my Chatty Cathy. Kissie Doll and my trolls when my mom was still alive.Yesterday I found 2 homemade ponies that I had to bring home. There is a red metal dump truck pedal car in the attic that will come home with me too. They built the house in 1948 and my mom never threw anything away. I am finding boxes of rags made from worn out cloths all neatly folded. Also tons of PBJ jars and jars of anything that food came in. Also finding clean folded plastic bags. How I hated to wash those PBJ jars and bread bags when I was young. LOL

  19. Amy Watson says:

    Wow..I must be a little older than the rest of you :) I didn’t see anyone that had a Thumbalina doll…and me and my sister each had a Barbie…Hoola Hoops and rollerskates that you wore WITH yout sneakers on and had a key to adjust them….We both got a brand new bicycle a green Schwinn in 1968 for Christmas..The only time I ever had a brand new bicycle until my hubby bought me one for my 50th BD…We had spirograph and dtch a sketch…a Sorry game and a monopoly and I was always the IRON!!!!! No exceptions and my sister was the kittle dog :) Great memories..thanks donna!!!!!

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