The heart of the little red and yellow toy car from nowhere. By Jim Fabiano


All I could hear was laughter from a little boy and the rumbling of wheels from the little red and yellow toy car I gave up because my grandchildren simply grew up. Even though I live about four houses down from my new neighbor the sounds from their driveway were easily heard. I smiled and remembered back a few years when my grandchildren played on that toy car in my driveway.

I didn’t buy the toy. My niece found it at the end of a driveway in another town ready to be picked up and thrown away as garbage. When she first brought it over I wasn’t too thrilled because I didn’t understand the concept of using someone else’s throw away to give to my grandkids. I could afford new toys but my wife advised me our granddaughter would love it. Of course, I gave in and, of course, she was right.

My wife then spent the next day cleaning up the hand-me-down toy car. She stripped off the old Batman, Robin, and Superman stickers and replaced them with the kind of flowers that were popular during our youth of the 1960’s. I wonder how many other stickers of time gone by were replaced by the stickers representing their present time.

The first time my granddaughter visited we left the hand-me-down toy car in the driveway. It was like metal meeting magnets. She immediately ran out from her car and started playing with it. At first I had to show her how to use her legs in order to make the car move. When I discovered her legs were not long enough I pushed her throughout my driveway and then throughout my yard. We laughed together as I guided her through the trees and tall grass. Looking back at it now that time is still one of my favorite memories.

Every time my granddaughter visited she ran into my garage in order to take out the car. Also every time my granddaughter visited she became a bit older and a bit larger. I was no longer needed to run her through my yard because her legs touched the ground. This became one of more sadder memories. But, after the day wandered into night she would put the car back into my garage and give me a bit hug because she knew where her favorite toy came from. Now if I only knew where it really came from.

A few years later my grandson arrived. When he was old enough to be independent of my daughter and could discover things on his own my granddaughter introduced him to the little red and yellow toy car. She was getting a bit too old to ride in it but she was old enough to push him throughout my driveway and then throughout my yard. Watching them I knew she would remember this time as one of her favorite memories.

I wish I could stop time but I can’t. Both my grandchildren are now older. Their new toys consist of electronics that don’t have the capacity to move. So, I am thrilled I decided to evolve the little red and yellow toy car to someone else’s driveway. Watching and hearing my new neighbor’s children love their new toy I wondered where the toy could have come from. I wondered how old that little toy car was.

In my mind’s eye I started to imagine a time when crew cuts on boy’s head was in style and all little girls wore large ribbons in their hair and dresses. I don’t believe super heroes existed back then or what children wore was dependent on what style was considered, ‘in’. I do believe they must have loved their new toy. I also know they must have grown older with their parents wondering what to do with the toy. I am grateful they decided to roll it out to the end of their driveway in hopes some new family would pick it up.

I wonder how many children enjoyed their new toy. How many children out grew the toy and how many parents decided to give it away in order to produce new memories from new families. At first, I wanted to walk over to my new neighbors in order to remind them once their children outgrew the toy they were obligated to walk it to the end of their driveway in order to give it to someone new.

I decided against this because I believe the little red and yellow toy car would do it for me.

Jim Fabiano
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Writers Journal column

Author of two books “Laugh it Off” (2003) and “Humor from York Town” (2005)

Author: Jim Fabiano

Jim Fabiano is a retired teacher and writer living in York, Maine

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