I don’t remember having an excess of toys as a child. There was one favored baby doll, a set of play dishware, a red suede cowgirl outfit complete with six shooters and a cowboy hat, a red wagon and a Nancy Nurse Doll. But, one of my favorite toys was a gun that a cousin whittled from an old orange crate. It was special because he made it for me and because I could then join the “Outlaw Gang” of cousins with their guns and stick horses.
I played endless hours outside, collecting pretty rocks, exploring the outdoors and making things from what was on hand. My imagination took me on travels and created castles from sticks and string. When weather dictated indoor activities, I brought out the crayons and paper or played dress up with a trunk full of my mother’s discarded clothes. School opened new artistic possibilities with glue and scissors added to my tool box. Now we decorated shoe boxes into elaborate Valentine receptacles, made posters for Memorial Day, and decorated our classroom for Christmas. My imagination was in high gear. I loved art and all it could be. Art and I were in it for the long haul.