Gardening is also excavation and treasure hunting. I've unearthed needles, pieces of glass from broken bottles, and decomposing stuff I can't identify. My favorite finds are toys, like the plastic piece from a pistol. Pictured above are my favorites because after a good scrubbing, I could play with them. The marble reminds me that glass, like the sharp not-so-fun pieces, don't break down naturally at all.
The two treasures seemed almost new, making quality toys not just fragile collectables to pass from one generation to the next. After being underground for years, they hadn't lost their magic.
The army guy had me scratching my head to know who he was. So I took him on an adventure to Wegmans. The toy sparked interest from other writers assembled for our serious meeting. But no one could give me information about it, until R. J. (Robert) Repici slid into his seat as the meeting began. Catching a glimpse of the action figure that still held center stage on our shared table, Robert said with his usual calm comportment, “Oh, Sergeant Savage.”
“Robert. You know who he is?” I asked, excited.
This teacher, screenwriter and pop culture aficionado pulled up a site on his computer featuring Sergeant Savage and the Screaming Eagles. Hasbro had made this line of 3¾ inch G.I.Joe action figures in 1995. “Wow, thanks Robert. I was wondering who he was,” I said, grateful and impressed.
At home, I added the marble to my childhood collection and stationed the sergeant to guard my dinning room table.
I guess writers never grow up. Maybe we appreciate toys more as we get older, especially the playthings that don't age, even after a tough life underground. And it's finder's keepers when someone else's playthings surface in my yard.