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Carol Perkins: Yo-Yo triggers fond memories

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By Carol Perkins

As I was going through boxes in my office closet, I found a yo-yo. Why it was among unrelated items, I don't know, but there it was. The size was more a mini yo-yo than the size of the yo-yos my friends and I once enjoyed on the playground during recess. This one probably came in a box of trinkets for the grandchildren. What would be the normal reaction to finding such a jewel? Wind the string and give it a try.

A good yo-yo has a strong string, but this one was more related to thread, but I wrapped it around the inside, made a loop for my finger, and stood back away from the closet door.

My "Yo-Yoing" skills were rusty, so dropping it from my finger and giving it a yank for a return was all I knew. Even though that might seem simple, my string didn't return. It fell to the bottom and slept. I blamed it on the cheap string. I rewound the yo-yo for another try. This time I flicked my wrist to control the movements, and the yo-yo came back once and I dropped it again and it came back again. Twice was all I got out of yo-yo.

At recess in my youth, the guys (and some girls) gathering in a circle on the playground to perfect their yo-yo tricks and show off their skills. Some could do tricks like "around the world." Others perfected what they called the "elevator" or made the yo-yo dance. I don't know the name of one of them, but the yo-yo looked like a pendulum on a clock, swinging back and forth. Another one was "walk the dog." I almost forgot, "Rock the baby." I admired the classmates who could turn their hand toward the sky and drop the yo-yo backward and with the right movement in the wrist, bring it back for more. The experts could yo-yo two at the same time. Those guys spent more time honing their yo-yo skills than they did learning to read.

Not to be outdone, we girls had our own yo-yos. Most glittered on the inside with clear plastic on the outside. Some had blinking lights that put on a show as they went up and down. We might have spent an entire dollar on the extra special ones that no boy would be caught dead using.

Imagine giving a classroom of kids a yo-yo and sending them to the playground. With a little instruction, they would have so much fun learning the famous tricks of their grandfathers'. That tiny plastic yo-yo at the bottom of a box in the closet took me back to the grand days of playground fun at the Edmonton Grade School. Do you still have your yo-yo? Better question: can you make it dance?

Follow Susan and Carol-Unscripted on 99.1 the Hoss in Edmonton on Tuesdays from 10amCT to 11amCT and replay on Sundays from 4pmCT to 5pmCT. Listen to Carol's podcast at for entertaining stories and a replay of Susan and Carol-Unscripted.

This story was posted on 2020-02-20 11:05:31
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