Discovering an ‘old friend’


Sometimes you can find the coolest things in the oddest places.

I’m not saying that Books A Million is odd, by any means.

But on my last visit, I found an “old friend.”

Remember Spirograph?

It came in a paperboard box with plastic spirals, different colored pens and paper. You could make all sorts of designs in various shapes and sizes.

When I needed more paper, I used a composition book. That didn’t make mom too happy, but at least I had found something to occupy my time and keep me quiet.

I didn’t find it in the game section.

Instead, I stumbled across it on a table near the register.

It was nestled among numerous novelty items that definitely stirred memories in this brain that sometimes forgets to function properly. There was a Lite-Brite, a miniature arcade game (the name escapes me) and other cool things that almost certainly revived this old kid’s heart.

Good old, Spirograph.

It was encased in a bright red tin about the same size as an iPad.

I flipped it over to see those ever-familiar colorful designs. Enclosed were the spirals, two bright-colored pens and some paper.

The debate on purchasing it never arose.

I slipped it underneath my arm and continued browsing the store.

While BAM is stacked with shelves of fiction and non-fiction books, I do have to admit I was disappointed with its history section. Most of you who know me are aware that I can get lost in time while reading about the Revolutionary and Civil wars, WWII, battleships — well, the “good” US history that I grew up studying.

I have a Civil War coffee table book that I picked up for half price at Fort Fisher a few years ago. I’m sure none of you care about that, but it’s a pretty good read on a rainy day.

I kept walking around BAM.

Nothing else caught my attention.

As I walked to the register, I flipped my old friend over and looked for the barcode. I didn’t see a price listed underneath it.

On this day, money didn’t matter.

I slid it underneath the plastic window that separated me and the cashier. The scanner beeped and she did a double take.

“Where did you find this?” she asked.

I pointed to the table.

“I never knew that was there,” she said.

Seconds later, she bagged the treasure and wished me a good day.

I’ve yet to open it.

Guess I’m waiting for that rainy day.

Rudy Coggins is assistant editor of the Mount Olive Tribune. You can reach him at rcoggins@mountolivetribune.com.


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