Growing up, Jeff was my best playmate. We played everything together. School, house, war (there's another story here that I might share with you some day), you name it we played it. I clearly remember playing elevator in his closet once. Of course, it wasn't a regular elevator. Our elevator took us all over the world. Strange, but fun.
We used to love to play with my Creepy Crawlers kit. Does anyone remember that? This kit came with brightly colored goop, a heating element and metal molds. You would squirt the goop into the molds and then carefully place the mold in the heating element, where it would cook until it became solid. We would then use the prongs to remove the mold and place in a cold water bath to cool. Then...magically we would have these rubbery bugs...hence the name Creepy Crawlers.
They also came out with Flower Power (it made flowers) and Pic-a-doo (it made little pictures). We could play with this stuff for hours and hours. Now in retrospect, I do have to wonder what the hell they were thinking giving a heating element to children as part of a toy. It's amazing we didn't burn the house down. But boy-oh-boy, Jeff and I sure had fun with that stuff.
My favorite Christmas memory includes Jeff as well. I'm not exactly sure how old we were, but clearly old enough to be left alone as Mom and Dad went out one night leaving us alone. Mom left firm instructions NOT to plug the tree lights in. Soon after they left, we naturally plugged the tree lights in and put "Mitch Miller's" Christmas album on the phonograph. If you aren't familiar with Mitch Miller, he had a TV program where the words to the songs would come on the screen with a little bouncing ball so you could sing along at home. Of course, his albums came with sheets of printed lyrics allowing us to sing along. And that's just what we did. All night long we sang Christmas carols. Somehow, we remembered to unplug the lights before Mom and Dad got home, again saving the house from burning down. (I just realized that Mom and Dad owe us a big thank you for saving the house so many times.)
It's easy to see that Jeff is very special to me. He is so integral to many of my wonderful childhood memories and these memories have bound us together over the years, despite our lives going in many different directions.
With all of the best wishes...Happy Birthday Jeff. I love you more than you could ever know.