|An old Joe stands guard upon my studio shelf.|
In 1964 our family was visiting relatives in Columbia, SC for Christmas. I'd never heard of a G.I. Joe before that day. I never asked Santa for one. Boy was I a happy kid to find a little fighting marine under the tree that year with all that gear. I was ecstatic. There wasn't a Christmas or a birthday throughout the rest of my childhood that I wasn't asking for another Joe, another accessory, or vehicle. I had the biggest army in the neighborhood.
I spent countless hours with these guys lost in my vivid imagination, acting out all kinds of adventurous and dangerous scenarios. Most of my friends had Joes too. Every now and then we'd combine forces for massive battles. My G.I. Joes were my most prized possessions as a kid, my all time favorite toy.
G.I. Joe is turning 50 this month. Happy Birthday soldier!