It might not have been the first thing I ever made, but I do know I was very young.
An old gentleman friend of my parents came to the house one day. I do not think I was the target of the visit, but I guess, in an attempt to engage me, he showed me how to make stuff from rolled-up and folded newspaper. No glue, no tape, no rubber bands, no paint. The attempt worked. There was plenty of little boy left within him and I latched onto it. The old folks in the room would have to deal with the weightier matters.
The first item we made was a tri-corner hat. I was indeed amused. I was downright fascinated. He joyously demonstrated how it was to be worn and images of George Washington popped into my head.
I doubt that I ever duplicated his skill, but every-so-often afterward I would take the evening newspaper my father had just finished reading, sit down in the middle of the living room floor, and construct a hat, a sword, a boat or something unrecognizable to anyone but me. A boat can take you to far off places and it never hurts to take a sword along with you. Having the right hat for the endeavor, well, that just makes sense.
I have no idea who this old family friend was. I do not remember anything about him or how he looked. I can however still recollect his joy in teaching me, a very young boy, how to make something.
Each of my simple creations had a life expectancy of about fifteen minutes. The images and the joy have been everlasting.
-Reeve Monroe Van Nostrand, Jr., Financial Advisor
This was originally published in July, and is being republished as a single response.