Hula hoops, Barbie dolls, books, and my childhood at MHS

A current and popular exhibit at the Minnesota Historical Society is Toys of the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s. This brought back memories of my own childhood. Tents made out of blankets hung from the clotheslines, blow-up swimming pools, trikes, roller skates, books, Colorforms, and more.

I was lucky to have my paternal grandmother, Olga Theodora (Carlsen) Stuart, aka Grandma Toots, who introduced me to the world of Nancy Drew and I eagerly looked forward to the next book she would bring me. I thought about Grandma Toots a couple times this past summer when I stopped at a lake to read. She used to read in scenic spots, too. My other favorite place to read as a child was at night in bed under the blanket using a flashlight.

I had an early hula hoop, Barbie doll, slinky, and other neat 1950s toys because a neighbor worked for a toy distributor. They always had neat toys at their house, too. I wonder what those toys would be worth today?

 The toys exhibit is open at MHS through January 5, 2015. More details are at

© 2014, Paula Stuart-Warren. All rights reserved.

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