Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

From the 50s and 60s to today . . .



Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Superdud

If you are ever in Denver . . .
Somewhere in or near Denver, Colorado, is my wonderful, stupendous, long-awaited, much-anticipated, beloved, toy of the century.
The one that was mine too briefly.
Sigh.
Maybe I should explain . . .
When I was growing up, my rancher father often took his family on holidays.
Said holidays often included some form of cattle show.
Or cattle ranch visit.
Or driving down the highway slowly because someone’s herd was just there.
In the field.
Waiting to be observed and categorized.
I know you’re wondering what this has to do with my toy.
It’s coming . . .
This particular family trip had been planned with the National Western Stock Show - annually held in Denver - in mind.
And that was okay with me.
Because said stock show also included horse classes.
And I had a new toy.
Now it comes out . . .
The Wham-o company had just released the most amazing gadget.
A solid rubber ball that would bounce higher and do more tricks than anything that had ever been invented.
Aptly named the ‘Superball’, it was a thing of beauty.
An amazing little ball of rubber that promised hours and hours of entertainment.
I had wanted one forever.
Well, since I had first seen an ad a couple of months before.
Dad had stopped at a store before heading over to the stock show.
They had them! A whole display!
The planets had aligned.
I was at a store that actually had the magical little balls for sale.
And my Dad was there.
With his wallet.
The day was mine!
And so, incidentally, was my little, dark blue miracle.
I pried open the package and, for the first time, felt the cool, smooth surface of the greatest high-bouncing ball of all time.
I sat there in the truck and held it.
Staring at it.
Smelling it.
I couldn’t wait to give it a good bounce.
Dad pulled into the stock section of the fair grounds and we all got out and went into the nearest pavilion.
I found myself standing in the lane of a long, concrete-floored, stall-lined, barn of a building.
Perfect.
I lifted the hand holding the ball . . .
And smashed it down onto the pavement as hard as I could.
Wow.
All of the ads never really paid it full justice.
That little ball hit that hard surface and shot like a missile toward the ceiling.
I stared at it; eyes wide and mouth open in a foolish grin of pleasure.
Then my magical toy came down.
Down.
Finally landing somewhere in the endless mounds of straw that filled the building.
Okay, that, I never anticipated.
I searched for that ball for hours.
I’d be searching still if my Dad hadn’t dragged me away for some frivolous ‘have-to-eat-and-sleep-and-for-heaven’s-sake-it’s-only-a-ball’ reason.
My one and only Superball.
You know, the ads claimed that it would keep on bouncing, almost forever. 
The ads were wrong.

18 comments:

  1. Haha! I hope you run across your "Super Ball" one day Diane!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Rena! I know it's out there. Somewhere . . .

      Delete
  2. Of all the places to lose it ... I remember those balls - my older brother had one. And I was the one protecting my glasses from the random bounces :)

    Your label had me chuckling out loud, Diane. If only we could apply it to all those people out there who operate a vehicle/chain saw/hair clippers/etc.!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oooh. Chainsaws. Yeah, that gives it a whole new perspective!

      Delete
  3. It's still bouncing out there..somewhere...beyond the horizon.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Oh, no, say it's not so.

    Every super ball I ever saw or owned was good for hours of playing fun (and at least one bruise). You got gypped.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Oh, I feel your heart break. My ornery brother Bill had one, bounced it on the only piece of concrete near our house while watched. I got nailed but good. His ball eventually disappeared, somewhere.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yowch! Sooo . . . disappeared accidentally on purpose?

      Delete
  6. Replies
    1. Thanks, Carol! The more people who know, the better chance of someone finding it. It's only been fifty years. Could happen . . .

      Delete
  7. Oh, I can just feel your disappointment and frustration!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Helene! They had one thing right. That ball could sure bounce!

      Delete
  8. Oh how things have changed! When one toys loss was felt so much.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I remember superballs, my kids had one each and had contests to see who could bounce one off the house wall in such a manner it would bounce to the fence then back to the house and just keep going. As I recall, they tried for months before giving up. One of the kids still has a superball somewhere, a rainbow swirl coloured one.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, the days of simple entertainment! And they've still got one?! Keep it away from the straw . . .

      Delete

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