I remember how simple fun used to be, raking serpentine paths through piles of leaves while waiting for the school bus in the fall and playing Army armed only with a stick and hiding behind a tree trunk.

Even toys left much to the imagination, like Mr. Potato Head and erector sets and even a simple game of tag would suffice when cousins were around.

I once drew the outline of my bare feet on my skateboard and painted them in for a cool, surfer effect, similar to the beach blanket movies of the 1960s.

Sunday mornings were time for mom to change the sheets on the beds at my house, and there was time to make a temporary tent in the living room, using clothes pins to attach the used sheets to the couch and chairs.

Even an old appliance box could be converted into whatever you wanted it to be with a pair of scissors and a little imagination.

I recall the “hot toy” of the day during Christmas, including the ever-popular slinky, and later the Johnny Seven O.M.A. (One Man Army), a multi-function toy weapon released in 1964.

The best selling boys’ toy of 1964, the Johnny Seven O.M.A. had seven different features, including if I can recall a grenade launcher, rocket launcher and even plastic bullets.

Imagine the consternation of pacifists and gun control advocates if that toy were made today, but it still wasn’t as dangerous as the lawn dart, also known as jarts or lawn jarts.

Lawn darts were typically 12 inches long with a weighted metal or plastic tip on one end and three plastic fins on a rod on the other end.

The lawn darts were meant to be tossed underhand toward a horizontal ground target, where the weighted end hits first and sticks into the ground.

Needless to say, they were banned by the United States and Canada after a number of people were injured, even killed.

Fast forward to today with expensive smart phones and iPads, and although not physically dangerous, ill-advised Facebook posts have the potential of being demeaning and downright uncalled for.

I complained one time as a child heading home from a Christmas gathering about getting a pair of socks as a gift and not a toy.

Just give me a pair of socks today, and I’d be happy as a clam, and even a “Merry Christmas!” would do.

At my age, I’m easily satisfied.

Doug Ford reports for The Gazette-Virginian. Contact him at dford@gazettevirginian.com.

Doug Ford covers news and sports for The Gazette-Virginian. Contact him at dford@gazettevirginian.com.