Over the last year or so, the Newton County Historical Society has tried to hold a “show and share” at least once a month.

Over the last year or so, the Newton County Historical Society has tried to hold a "show and share" at least once a month.

In August, we were happy to have Lynn Tatum bring and talk about her antique doll collection, and others brought some of their own favorites as well. Spinning off of that, this month we are featuring something that should appeal to the youth in all of us: Toys.

If you collect old toys, or maybe just have some stored away, please join us at 2 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 15 at the Newton County Historical Park and Museum, 121 N. Washington St., for "Toys of yesteryear."
All kinds of toys are welcome.

Now, if you just so happen to have any Buddy L toys, that would be especially great. The Buddy L Corporation made metal toys, largely cars and trucks (some big enough for kids to ride). It had a plant in Neosho and was headquartered here from late 1968 (one source says 1969) until purchased by the Sunbeam Corporation in 1974. On a footnote, Sunbeam closed its outdoor grill manufacturing plant in Neosho in 2003. The facility is now a distribution center for Jarden Consumer Solutions, which acquired what had formerly been Sunbeam in 2005. But I digress.

One of the larger crowds we had in recent years at a historical society function just so happened to be a toy event. Toys are popular with people for many reasons, but the biggest is probably that it reminds them of their youth.
That is one thing all of us share – we have all played with toys at some point in our lives.

Know what's great about antique and vintage toys? They usually require some imagination. The toys of yesteryear didn't do it all for you – what fun would that be? I think too many kids' minds today are getting mushy for lack of exercise.

Although I would personally like to see toys from the first half of the last century or even before, toys that maybe aren't popular anymore but that used to be common, we want to open this up to any kind of toy category imaginable. I have a friend who is a serious toy collector, but what he specializes in is action figures. Some are worth a good amount of money. Sunday's event isn't a trade show, but who knows what contacts you may make with other collectors? Feel free to bring your mint condition, packaged pieces.

No matter what toys you may have, as either a collection or as just a remembrance of your childhood, no matter how old or recent they are, please bring them on Sunday. See you then!

o o o

I was thrilled to have two Vietnam War veterans contact me so far, wanting to participate in the Vietnam War veterans event on Nov. 9 at the Civic Auditorium in Neosho. Thank you, gentlemen. As I noted here a couple of weeks ago, this event is to give Vietnam War vets an opportunity to talk about their experience if they so choose. They at least deserve the chance. If interested, please call me at 658-8443.

Wes Franklin serves on the Newton County Historical Society board of directors. He is also public relations and events coordinator for the City of Neosho. He can be reached at 417-658-8443.