Lawson writes . . . sharing thoughts and memories

October 3, 2012

Missing Soldiers

Filed under: Uncategorized — lawsonjolly @ 5:00 am

Some things you never forget.  Our memory can be forever marked because of a mystery.  Such a mystery in my life will remain unsolved.  It was the early years of World War II.  American was at war.  Boys played soldiers in those days . . . and if not physically playing . . . there was the make-believe with toys!

I spent many, many hours by myself . . . and at other times with friends . . . playing with our toy soldiers.  Oh, I had a great collection!  I cannot remember the number that I had, but I know that the old apple crate was almost half full.  I always knew what my Christmas and birthday gifts would be!  All the family knew I expected toy soldiers!

These soldiers and other war items were made of cast iron or lead.  Today they would be collectibles, but in my boyhood, they were the hot toy item!  Most boys my age had them!

My collection included mostly Army, although they were available in the other branches of the military.  We would often trade with one another in order to complete our collection.  I can recall that the small figures were of different functions.  Some were in the position of marching, some standing guard, and others would be medical personnel with stretchers.  Then there were those in a kneeling or prostrate position as if firing their weapons.   And I remember the soldier holding the American flag.  I also had cannons and trucks.  I had a complete Army, and I can assure you since I was the General and Director of the operation, no battle was ever lost.

I had the perfect yard for playing with these miniatures.  Under the hedge row was cover and places for the soldiers to hide.  The short strip of dirt between the hedges and the grass made for a battlefield.  The goldfish pond with the fountain added to the drama!  It was a boy’s delight.  I can still feel that dirt as I would lie prostrate on the ground, reaching out with my arms to move the soldiers to various locations.  I loved playing with these miniatures!

After each use, they were carefully placed in the old apple crate and placed on a shelf in the flower pit.  This was a place under the house where plants were stored during the winter.  There were windows to provide light and so there were even times I played with my army in the pit.

I remember so vividly the time I went to the pit to retrieve my box of soldiers.  The box was gone!  My soldiers were missing!  I could not believe it.  Where could they have gone?  Many searches were made through the basement, the house, the porches, the yard, and the barn.  But . . . no box of soldiers could be found!

They were missing!  Stolen is the word!  There is no other explanation.  Now who would steal them?  My playmates in the neighborhood would not steal them.  They would not be able to hide them indefinitely.  They could not play with them.  The culprit must have been someone who knew about them, but lived out of the neighborhood.  But how could they carry them home?  You could not carry the apple crate and ride your bike . . . it was too far to walk for those that might be suspected . . . and no parent would have allowed them in the car if they suspected their son had stolen them!

So what happened to my Army?  I will never know . . . but I confess it is one of those unsolved mysteries in my life!  I truly believe I would have kept them all my life!  And think of the value today!

Perhaps in heaven I will know about the disappearance of my treasures. And whoever you are and wherever you are . . . I forgive you!

Just reminiscing today!



1 Comment »

  1. Oh, such a mystery!!!!!!! I will be trying to figure how that might have happened and that you never solved the mystery. I’m sure that the time you spent in war was spent in a more rewarding and positive time of learning. But to never know…….

    Comment by doriswhite — October 16, 2012 @ 8:17 pm | Reply

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