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Late-afternoon Marbles (Jama, Ecuador)

(Manabi, Ecuador)  While dodging traffic pollution in Manta a few weeks ago, I ducked into a petite frame shop along a high-traffic street.   While waiting my turn, I inspected their modest selection of frames before noticing a big glass jar filled with wooden orbs.  I leaned forward and smiled, then twisted the lid and retrieved one of the objects.

I’ll bet most of you know what this is!

When is the last time you saw an old fashioned wooden top?

Remember when?

Topsy Turvy!

I purchased several, asked for instructions (which she gladly gave) and tucked the little treasures into my shoulder bag.      Later at Museo Cancebi, I retrieved one, smirked and asked if there were any “top” masters in the room!

Gaby and Angel at Museo Cancebi

Huge grins appeared on my friends’ faces, and Angel stepped forward to teach us the art of properly wrapping the string, placement of our fingers, and launching the top for the best results!  He then switched to a more-professional presentation of what a top master could do with a top!

For the next half hour we took turns laughing while reverting to child’s play as the out-of-control top careened across the floor!   Jacqueline Simon, the director of the museum and partner in our mischief, proclaimed the wooden top worthy of its final resting place upstairs in the ethnographic museum!

Ah, remember when children were happy with little?  A top or a set of marbles or pick-up sticks entertained young and old alike for hours!

In some cultures, that attitude remains, and that’s why I love it here!

Remember When?

We can thank Jake and his Sunday Post Challenge for bringing us this week’s theme of “Toys.” Visit his site for more posts about toys!

Excuse me while I go spin a top!