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Author Topic: Old popularity of tops in the US  (Read 5060 times)

johnm

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Re: Old popularity of tops in the US
« Reply #15 on: September 17, 2011, 09:08:57 PM »

Just ran across a video of some 'kids' playing tops--not really battling but still nice to see.

Spinning Tops @ Woodstock 69's 40th Reunion


From the description:
Quote
... had made wooden tops for us like the ones we spun as children at Woodstock in Mussoorie. It was great fun to spin then at our class's 40th reunion in Eugene, Oregon in July of 2009.
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ta0

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Re: Old popularity of tops in the US
« Reply #16 on: September 17, 2011, 11:49:08 PM »

Very nice to see these Americans can still throw tops (even boomerangs and trapeze mounts) 40 years after they left school . . . in INDIA!!!! I was pretty surprised when I searched for this school, Woodstock in Mussoorie, and found it is a Christian international school close to the Himalayas (www.woodstockschool.in).  But if you look at the keywords for the video, one is in fact India.

« Last Edit: September 17, 2011, 11:51:48 PM by ta0 »
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Eric

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Re: Old popularity of tops in the US
« Reply #17 on: September 18, 2011, 02:25:03 PM »

OK, this is an amazing "small world" story. 
My wife Dorothy's dad Jack remarried years ago after Dorothy's mom passed away.  He and his wife Cate, both educators/college administrators, lived and worked for three years at the Woodstock School in Mussoorie during the 1990's.  Cate actually grew up there as her father, a missionary, worked for many years in northern India and the kids went to the Woodstock School.  It's highly entertaining to watch this 6' tall blond woman break into fluent Hindi from time to time.  Dorothy travelled to India to visit them, but alas, I was never able to go.
Better still, the second thrower in the video is Cate's brother John!!!!! I actually gave him one of my earliest wood tops.....
Amazing!
Also, during their time in India on one of their visits home, Jack, knowing my passion for tops, brought me a classic Indian top like the ones they're using....

Wow......just wow. 
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SpinQueen

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Re: Old popularity of tops in the US
« Reply #18 on: September 18, 2011, 09:36:02 PM »

Wow, that's so cool Eric. :D  Fantastic video find John, I really enjoyed it.   

One of the parents from our school said that she saw (for the first time ever, this past summer) kids playing with tops when she went back to her native home in Hungary for a  visit.  She had only ever seen kids at our little Berkeley Ca school play with tops before this.  She said that the tops were all the rage in Hungary.
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Larry D.

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Re: Old popularity of tops in the US
« Reply #19 on: September 18, 2011, 10:01:23 PM »

What a great video John!  Thanks.  It is really a pleasure to watch!

Every time I bring tops to the office the folks I work with, especially from India,  get misty-eyed reflecting back to their childhoods.  They pick up the tops, hands trembling in the excitement of their memories, a smile on their face, and start spinning.  What great fun!

Eric, what an incredible coincidence for you!
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ta0

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Re: Old popularity of tops in the US
« Reply #20 on: September 19, 2011, 12:00:16 AM »

Wow Eric!  And that is my third "wow" from this video (the video itself and then finding they were classmates in India were the other ones).
Now you have to give us the inside info: did they play tops because that was popular with kids their age in that part of India, or was this a special activity of the school?  You said their parents were missionaries: could there be a Schreiber connection here?
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the Earl of Whirl

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Re: Old popularity of tops in the US
« Reply #21 on: September 19, 2011, 09:38:47 AM »

Thanks for the memories, Eric.  I agree with all the others......wow!!!
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Watts' Tops

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Re: Old popularity of tops in the US
« Reply #22 on: October 12, 2011, 08:59:11 PM »

The question about the Schreiber connection.  Highly unlikely.  In all my years of being around Jim S. I never heard of any connection with India.  He was mostly mid-west.  I'm sure I would have heard of a mission work in India if there had been one.
Neat to see thess top spinners from way back. :D
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the Earl of Whirl

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Re: Old popularity of tops in the US
« Reply #23 on: August 03, 2019, 04:25:24 PM »

The father of one of my wife's dear co-workers died.  We are at her friend's house after the funeral for a meal.  Everything was typical with lots of good food, sharing old stories and more.  Then suddenly a brother-in-law of the deceased pulled out an old top and started spinning it.  His grandkids came running.  He pulled out another for them.  Then another.  And then another.  It was wild!!!  Spinners were everywhere and soon I joined in.  Mike Prieto was his name and he grew up on the east side of Chicago, in Indiana near the harbor.  He threw down with an overhand motion and said that is the way they did it growing up, in order to destroy the other tops.  His stories were very similar to all the other stories of the 50's and early 60's except when the tops got dull.  The "scissor man" who came through to sharpen the family scissors would sharpen dull points for one cent, which was a deal since a new top was three cents.  And if you needed a new string, it would cost you two pennies.
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Renee

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Re: Old popularity of tops in the US
« Reply #24 on: August 03, 2019, 04:48:41 PM »

Wow, Mike.  You live a charmed life. 
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ta0

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Re: Old popularity of tops in the US
« Reply #25 on: August 03, 2019, 05:25:14 PM »

Wow! What are the chances? Great story!
Did the tops he had at the meal have spike tips or tricking tips?

Yeah, all indicates that Chicago was a hot spot of top spinning.
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the Earl of Whirl

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Re: Old popularity of tops in the US
« Reply #26 on: August 04, 2019, 12:48:49 AM »

They were those old spike tips.....the pop rivet style tips.  He said he saw them on the internet and bought them for his grandkids.  They were having a good time with them even if they were not getting a lot of spinners. 

I have been looking up about the scissors man.  Seemed like an interesting job and I think of Dick Stohr and his work where he lives.  But, to be honest, it has been hard to work through information about Edward Scissorshand and the person who, in anger, cut another guy's private off with scissors!  Yow!!!  Anyway, we have a lot of old timers around here and I think they could tell me some good stories about the scissors man in our area.

You are right, Renee, I have lived a charmed life in many ways and especially with some of the many good folks in the top spinning community.  I look forward to another exciting series of adventures up in Cleveland!
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Renee

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Re: Old popularity of tops in the US
« Reply #27 on: August 04, 2019, 12:10:59 PM »

« Last Edit: August 04, 2019, 12:13:27 PM by Renee »
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the Earl of Whirl

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Re: Old popularity of tops in the US
« Reply #28 on: August 04, 2019, 10:44:45 PM »

Very interesting.  I knew nothing about this old time job.  Thanks for your info.  It linked me to another picture of someone with that kind of equipment.  I find this to be really fascinating and they used it for top related activities.....to sharpen the point for a better kill!!!
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ta0

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Re: Old popularity of tops in the US
« Reply #29 on: August 04, 2019, 11:01:48 PM »

I am younger than you, Mike, but in my youth back in Uruguay there were still itinerant knife sharpeners hollering their services. I do remember my mother once getting some knife sharpened. But sharpening tops is great new information!  8)

I suspected this job still existed in parts of Latin America and a search in youtube in fact found one from Mexico. The guy uses an electric grinder (I guess the customer needs to provide a socket to plug it) instead of the traditional sharpeners powered by pedal or hand crank: youtube.com/watch?v=F_enJaMi8Qg
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