Monday, July 27, 2009


In the fall of my 8th Grade year, they came and took away our Yo-Yo’s.
Over the period of a few weeks, the Yo-Yo craze had spread like a wildfire through the open air atrium at Bedford Jr. High.
By the coke machine Robert Everly and John Mcintire stood, “Shooting the Moon and “Walkin the Dog”.
In the Cafeteria, Suzi and Tracy watched in wide eyed amazement…Julie was a natural and was giving a clinic on how to “Rock the Baby” go “Around the World “ and even the near impossible ‘Two-handed Loops”.
But in the Resource Center…

Ah yes, the fabulous Resource Center, that’s what we called it, it wasn’t a library any more, it was a Resource Center. You could view some kind of Microfiche or something on a personal projector and listen to tapes about Indentured Servants and the Louisiana Purchase and stuff. I actually stole a set of headphones from there to listen to my Black Sabbath with, but mom found them and made me take them back to Mrs McNeese the Librariian, so I started taking Sabbath to the Resource Center, but that’s a whole ‘nother story. Right now I am supposed to be telling you about Yo-Yo’s.

Over in the Resource Center, Gary was demonstrating his version of ‘Split the Atom” which was to douse his Wooden Duncan Spin-master with a little lighter fluid and set it afire just before performing his trick. Gary was working on another trick at home with a Yo-Yo filled with a little black powder that would go off just as he finished the last move of a ‘Double Gerbil”, that’s how Gary rolled, but I seriously doubted that trick would ever take off.

But if anybody could pull something like that off, it would be Gary. His Dad was a Gunsmith and Gary was a Champion Muzzle-loader marksman since befor he could walk. There were kegs of black powder all over Gary's house.

Anyway, after dousing his Duncan with lighter fluid, setting it afire, he went into part one of “Splitting the Atom”. But it was then something went terribly wrong.
Not only did his string break just as he spun the Spinmaster over his head, causing the flaming Yo-Yo to jet straight towards Mrs. Mcneese’s very blue-grey hair, but everybody in the Resourse Center was about to find out that Gary was using the wrong Yo-Yo.
Unknowingly, Gary had brought the one filled with black powder from home!
The only thing that saved McNeese from a face full of flaming Yo-Yo that day was the fact that it exploded into tiny splinters 3 feet in front of her face.
No one was more surprised than Gary himself.
Gary “Split the Atom” alright, and the next day the Principle and entire coaching staff confiscated every Yo-Yo on Campus and forever banned them from the hallowed Open Air Atriums of Bedford Jr. High.

But, you know kids are resilient. They make the best of things. It didn’t take long before we found a replacement for the dangerous Yo-Yo’s.
What was it, you may ask?
Before too long the school was filled with the tap-tap-tapping machine gun like sound of a brand new toy.
Clackers! (click here)


Gary, receiving his "Order of the Eagle Feather" Award for a perfect score at competition, 1971.


Barbara said...

I always did love me a good yo-yo! But I could never do all that fancy stuff.

Angela said...

Martijn said you were back! So I read back a few of your latest posts and found the one your sister wrote! I left a comment, just a short one. I hope she keeps on blogging. And you, welcome back!

Kellyann Brown said...

...and in my middle school, they TAUGHT yo-yo as part of a lifelong fitness program (along with ping-pong and hackey sack).

Minx said...

Clackers! I still remember those bruised knuckles even with a bath towel wound around my hand!

Lily said...

I was a no-no with a yo-yo but you should have seen me juggle those jacks!

West Texas Insomniac said...

I was somewhere recently and saw an assortment of NEW Duncan yo-yo's. I was blown away. Remember the "butterfly" with the batteries in it that lit up?

soubriquet said...

Oh, well i remember clackers... Ka-------SMASH!!!!!!!!!!
or clackclakclakclakclakla........
Confiscated too. As were the Sekiden guns...(they were plastic guns that took a load of 100 bb sized pellets, spring-powered... we had huge battles, the school was treacherously slippery with bb rolling floors, and the teachers were irate and life was dangerous.
One day, an impromptu search netted over a hundred of the weapons, which Mr Henry took in a big bin and tipped onto the groundskeeper's leaf-fire.
Gnaaah! Mr Henry, if you're still out there, somewhere, I recall still my parents' amazement at your saying "The trouble is, I don't like him, and he doesn't like me."
Nothing like being frank at a parents' evening, is there?
You underestimated, though, my level of dislike for you. I wish you a plague of boils.

bulletholes said...

Thanks everyone for coming by. I wasn't sure if anyone remembered clackers.

red dirt girl said...

we called it the media center. i got to be a media center nerd: run the projector and splice film together. oh, if only i had been a naughty rdg at the time, the films i could have spliced ......