Reminiscing is something “older people” do. All of us. We are all older than someone…

It is amazing how a tiny thing can hurtle you straight back into the past.
A casual comment, a sound, a smell or in this case a tweet…

252 (at the time) retweets of the news yesterday that the Etch a Sketch inventor, Andre Cassagnes, had died at the age of 86, suggests that I was not the only one.

Immediately I was about eight years old, twiddling the two white knobs at the bottom of my screen, drawing crazy pictures, trying to draw straight diagonal lines (impossible!), and then turning the screen upside down and shaking it to clear the picture and start all over again!

Young people probably haven’t got a clue what I’m on about – or perhaps they have as Etch A Sketch rose to new fame through the ‘Toy Story’ movies. 🙂

Anyway, people of my generation DID know. Hardly surprising given that over 100 million copies have been sold…

A mini storm of lovely reminiscences ensued…

Instantly there was interest from international Twitter pals.
Michael Wakely (@wakelym) from Canada was up early and Kathy Magee (@kbmagee69)  in Australia was  catching up with a bit of Etch A Sketch before bed-time. As you do. 🙂

Spirograph Img_7070

And so it went on.
People having fun recalling childhood memories.

I was tempted to bring in my good pal Sarah Reed as she would have loved this conversation. Sarah has developed wonderful reminiscence cards to spark these type of conversations among people whose childhood memories go back much further than ours. Or the fab Shirley Ayres, who could have told us about Lego through the generations, now much loved by her grandson…

But instead I posted a very tongue-in-cheek tweet:

And. Mea culpa. Yes, I did start it. It was a bit of quick fun on a Sunday morning. Then we all rushed back to our families and normal Sunday activities…

But reminiscing is fun. And, as we rush about in our busy lives, a key challenge is to make time to enable”older people” to share this joy. People who otherwise have too much time to sit and stare.

It is incredibly rewarding to see people’s eyes sparkle as their own unique special memories come flooding back…

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

There were some great comments in response to the original tweet and one that really made me laugh.

NOT politically correct but I’d like to think that Andre Cassagnes would have loved to know that people remember him and his invention so fondly.

According to the BBC report “Etch A Sketch has been named by the American Toy Industry Association as one of the most memorable toys of the 20th century.” It certainly is for me. Thank you Andre and may you rest in peace, happy that your amazing legacy brought so much happiness to children in the 1960s…and beyond.

About Gill Phillips - Whose Shoes?

Passionate about personalisation in health & social care. Creator of Whose Shoes? - an imaginative approach to helping people work together to improve lives.
This entry was posted in Blogs, co-production, dementia, personalisation, social media, well-being and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Reminiscing is something “older people” do. All of us. We are all older than someone…

  1. Some of those “low tech” toys are still fun. Yes they are the toys of my childhood. But, I have enjoyed watching younger generations explore them.


  2. Maureen Grove says:

    Late to this party as usual – Oh! How I LOVED my Spirograph…..I kept it carefully packed up in it’s box when not in use, and woe betide my sister if she even lifted the lid off it to peep in!!! Thank you for that evocative prompt! 🙂


  3. People in Action says:

    Connect 4 was always a family favourite, as was good old Monopoly – I was the battleship!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s