I still have a lot of my old Matchbox and Hot Wheels Cars. I contribute a few to the family every now and then. I still have a Cadillac Ambulance that was one of my favorites. I remember racing it on the track my cousin gave me. I don’t have the track any more. The track was made up of several connectable parts of orange racetrack with curved pieces and even a loop. The cars were launched through a pseudo-garage that actually had two rotating wheels. The wheels flung the car outward with enough force to return.
Watching PBS one day an announcement came on between Sesame Street and The Electric Company. The local announcer warned that these shows along with Mister Rogers may be discontinued due to lack of funding. I had to ask what it meant. My friend told me that my favorite TV shows needed money or they would be stopped.
I loved television. Aside from Adam 12 all I watched was public television. I thought that Mister Roger’s Neighborhood and the CTW shows being canceled would be an atrocity.
So I sold my track for a dollar to my friend Chuckie. When the time came to make the exchange I felt a little guilty about taking my buddy’s dollar but we went through with it. Back then a dollar would buy ten bags of M&Ms. I gave the dollar to my parents and they sent it to KHET channel 8, Phoenix. My mom was so impressed that she wanted to include a note that I had sold my toys to send them money. I didn’t see what the big deal was. I had succumbed to emotional blackmail. And the shows stayed on.