Last week, like the week before, it rained. And rained. And rained. In the end, there were eight inches of water in my parents’ basement, creating cause for many late night calls, impromptu cleaning of drains and emergency cleanup of long untouched piles of junk.
My mother’s packrat tendencies have never bothered me much, except when I have been unable to find something of mine I was looking for, but as the waters rose, it was clearly time to rethink the amount of stuff tucked away in her basement. So on Father’s Day, out came the trash bags and away went mound after mound of wet stuff. Sadly, photographs, report cards and vacation mementos were lost to the flood.
But a ray of sun shone upon us last Sunday; hidden in a dry corner, a pot of gold was discovered. Tucked away in a few cardboard boxes were some lost comic books, a few dozen Hot Wheels and Matchbox cars and – most importantly – nearly all of the Star Wars toys we had played with as kids. There were more than three dozen figures, a couple ships, some accessories and more.
Memories came racing back as we turned over a Stormtrooper, which we had scarred with a soldering iron (to replicate, in our youthful minds, blaster strikes). There was Greedo, missing both his feet – thanks to a bored dog who had also once acted as a Sandcrawler, carrying droids on his back. The Millennium Falcon had most of its parts, but needed a good cleaning since it still bore the dirt and leaves of a somewhat extended stay in the backyard sandbox. (Han Solo had crash-landed on Tatooine in the early 1980s, in case you missed it.) There was a Snowspeeder, a Tauntaun, a Dewback and also the Imperial Attack Base playset. A plastic box held a couple of dozen guns and accessories, including capes and backpacks. Aside from the Falcon, everything was in great condition.
My brother and I smiled and laughed as we talked about playing with these toys, so many years ago. We kept saying “Oh yeah!” as another memory came rushing back. And we even had an impromptu recreation of Vader and Kenobi’s battle on the Death Star. But the highlight of the day was packing up the figures and ships and giving them to my eight-year-old son.
The look on his face was like Christmas morning had arrived on a humid June afternoon. He was beside himself with his newfound riches and spent the next five hours glued to the same spot, playing out the Battle of Hoth, the visit to Cloud City and most of Episode IV — just as my brother and I had done, a generation ago. It was, far and away, the best father’s day present I could ever experience.
See images after the break.