Auctions — April 1, 2011 at 12:02 am

ATW’s 40th Anniversary Issues Stirs Fond Memories

Dick Friz
Dick Friz

BY DICK FRIZ

I RECENTLY SPENT A DREARY, snowbound Christmas holiday season recuperating from a lengthy hospital confinement. Praises be, a pleasant surprise awaited when I opened my copy of ATW’s January 2011 40th Anniversary Issue and eagerly devoured its contents.

Dale’s magnum opus evoked an exhilarating, intensely moving meander down memory lane. Moreover, it renewed my unruly passion for the hobby—a perfect cure-all for winter doldrums.

The photo montage on pages 43-47 quickly jolted me out of my fugue, (that which Agatha Christie calls, a mild form of amnesia.) as a flood of fond memories bubbled to the surface. Having contributed a number of photographs to Dale’s milestone issue, I assumed that most of the faces of the pictured players would be familiar.

I found that I drew a complete blank in identifying over half the images. Sadly too, came the realization that a majority of those in the photo montage had passed away…

Blasts from the past…

As to my affiliation with ATW, it’s been one long joy ride to have contributed articles (along with photographs by wife Madaline) over the past 25 years. While toys remain my first love, my beat has included everything from toys, dolls, trains, banks to folk art, vintage advertising and political memorabilia and I’ve written articles and commentary for over 20 trade and specialty publications Most such periodicals have long expired; ATW, MAD, the Bee and a mere handful of others survive and prosper.

What an embarrassment of riches enthralled toy collectors, in the volatile, devil-may-care ’80s. To many observers Bill Bertoia and Noel Barrett’s Atlanta Toy Museum seminal series of auctions in 1986 blazed the trail for a prolonged, whirlwind toy adventure.

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