Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Today is Yo -Yo Day!

“Life is a yo-yo, and mankind ties knots in the string” ~ unknown~

In 1974 President Richard Nixon briefly played with a yo-yo at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville.

In 1968, activist Abbie Hoffman was cited for contempt of Congress for, amongst other acts, "walking the dog" during a session of the House Subcommittee on Un-American Activities.

The yo-yo is a toy consisting of two equally sized and weighted disks of plastic, wood, or metal, connected with an axle, with a string tied around it. First becoming popular in the 1920s, "yo-yoing" is still enjoyed by children and adults alike. To use, the player pulls the string through the loop to make a slipknot, puts his/her middle finger through the slipknot at the end of the string and grasps the yo-yo. Generally, the player does not put the slipknot any farther up his/her finger than the first knuckle from the tip. Then the player throws it downwards with a smooth light motion. When it reaches the end of the string, the yo-yo can be made to "sleep," the axle of the yo-yo spinning within a loop of string.

My Brother Frank. always said if you couldn't make a yo yo sleep you wouldn't be able to do anything else with it either. Frank would know. He was the best yoyo-er I ever knew! He could do all the tricks. He could walk the dog and rock the cradle and many more. He simply loved yo yo's. I'd almost bet he still owns at least one. I well remember him saving his money to buy a special Duncan Butterfly yo-yo. They were what ever body else had when we were young. Frank was the best with all the tricks with the one he had but he wanted a new one. He wanted the Butterfly! I also know that he had two lighted yo-yo's too. One red and one green. But I can't remember if they were butterfly yo-yo's or not.

Once when we were in school; the rough boys wanted Frank's yo-yo. They told him to give it to them and he just kept on yo-yoing. They told him they would beat him up and take it and he kept on still. Finally they backed him into a corner and tried to take it.. He quickly shoved it into his pocket and grinned at them and said.. "Go ahead and try to get it and when I start to yell and holler you can explain why you have your hand rammed down in MY pocket." Needless to say the rough boys decided that maybe, just maybe Frank was not a person to pick on. They walked away and never looked back at him. He returned to his yo-yo-ing as if nothing had ever happened. One of them later told me that they didn't even like to yo-yo. They just hated that they couldn't get a reaction from Frank when they picked at him about anything else. And they figured taking his yo-yo would be easy. Frank is still a little like that. He looks and acts real easy going. He really is real easy going.. But you don't really want to cross him..

The history of Yo-yo's goes a long way back. Back to Before Christ. There have been many different companies to make them. I think Maybe Duncan was the most widely known yo-yo company for many years and still is world known for their yo-yo's.

The International Yo-Yo Open is the largest yo-yo contest in the world. It is held every year in August at South Street Seaport in New York City. This contest is hosted by YoYoNation.com and aims to showcase the best yo-yo players in the world. In the inaugural 2007 contest, there were over 8,500 people in attendance.

The World Yo-Yo Contest is held every year in Florida, USA during early August or late July. This contest takes the winners from national yo-yo contests around the world and pits them against each other. Countries such as the United States, Brazil, Japan and the UK hold competitions at the national and regional levels. In addition, national yo-yo contests, without regionals, are held every year by Mexico, Taiwan, Singapore, Hong Kong, Korea, France, Germany, Switzerland, The Czech Republic, Hungary, and Australia.

It's amazing to me that a simple toy can be so popular to both children and adults and last for centuries as a popular item. I personally never learned to yo-yo. I can't walk the dog. I can't even make mine sleep. I do still have an old one from way way back. I take it out and try it every once in a while but I haven't learned anything about yo-yoing yet. Except that it's simplicity will fool you. It appears to be a very simple item. But it is actually not as easy to do as it appears. Most of us can toss it down and it will come back but can we make it do other things? I can't. Frank can! Can you? Never assume something that looks simple really is. Never assume that because some one appears easy to pick on that they are. And be sure to Never try and take Frank's yo-yo! Enjoy life! Try to find joy in some simple things. Try to learn to yo-yo. Have a great day!


Anonymous said...

You made me laugh today Patsy. Thanks. Reuben

Pblacksaw said...

I am always happy to share a laugh! Be sure and read back to the entry about egg day..
Have a good day!

Anonymous said...

Daddy still has a yo yo. He had it out the other day and Hannah fell in love with it! I'm like you though - I never could do it. But I remember Uncle Frank doing it. It was one of those things he used to do way back when at Christmas after Granddaddy had yelled at him for showing us card tricks, we'd all stand around with those huge peppermint sticks and watch him yo yo!! Those were the good ole days!

Anonymous said...

Oh Patsy! I read all about egg day when you wrote it. I got a good laugh remembering that day. I think maybe you pulled the rug out from under me......


Em Dy said...

I didn't even know there's such a day. I enjoyed yoyos too when I was a kid. Of all the tricks possible, I remember walking the dog best.

Anonymous said...

I could never make it sleep..:))

HulaGirl said...

hopping and dropping here have a nice day! i like ur name patsy

Pblacksaw said...

I will check and see if Frank still has a yo yo..

Phoebe- I am not surprised that your Dad has a yoyo.. Buy the kids one they will learn to do it and it's quiet!

Reuben_ I didn't pull the rug from under you! Maybe Mott did..

Em dy- Glad you stopped by. I could do Not a trick with my yoyo.
My brother could do them all though. Every day is some day.. They have names for them all now..

Confused- You were in the same shape as me then.. Thanks for stopping by..

Hula girl- I am gladded you hopped and dropped by here.

Yall have a great day!