Sunday, September 1, 2013

How Long Can You Stay Fresh In That Can?

When I was a kid (say 9 or 10), my family did not get around much to go on family vacations or trips. A visit to Disneyland would have been too epic to even fantasize about. One of the few places we did get to was the Hemisfair Park Playground, in San Antonio (about a half-hour's trip from here), a fun area around the Hemisfair Tower. Of all the dang things that really impressed me there was this Tin Woodman trash can; not only because I loved Oz, or had seldom seen large three-dimensional depictions of fictional characters, but also because I harbored a wild childish plan to somehow get this lid and the bright silver painted can it sat on to use as a basis of a full-body Tin Man suit.

Anyway, I thought there was no way I would ever see it again. On a wild impulse tonight I Googled a few search parameters and was stunned to actually find it! It turns out it was made (along with the Scarecrow and Cowardly Lion) by the Game-Time Company in Litchfield Michigan, a supplier of playground accoutrements across the country. A couple of these images were from different auction sites.

Of course these have an extra forty years of wear on them, but I seem to remember the nose as being longer. I do recall being annoyed that they were two-faced so you could get trash in from either side, which would have made my "customization" harder. It's odd to see the real thing after so many years; it cuts through the nostalgic haze of memory. Like so many childhood things it seems smaller, and tarnished, and pathetically whimsical. But also, like my old boyhood plan, almost brave beyond the boundaries of rationality.

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