GIMP or how I spent my summers

I read a really good blog post this morning about cheap and fun ways to enjoy your summer with your kids. But it didn’t list my favorite gimpthing from when I was a kid and then later for my own kids. Gimp. My son and I went to Michael’s the other day to get him a parachute cord bracelet – the new fun thing. But we both paused at the aisle with the gimp and stroked it longingly thinking of all the fun things we could do. But really how many lanyards and bracelets, etc. do you really need? Now it seems it is no longer called gimp because it is neither a GNU Image Manipulation program, which is referred to as gimp (and that seems to be okay) nor is it a derogatory term for the handicapped. (Interestingly, my one legged daughter was a master at making incredible things with gimp and was never offended by the term.) Political correctness strikes again. Anyway, as we looked at the gimp, which is now called plastic lacing, I told my son what summers were like for me. Immigrant families could not afford summer camps for their children, for the most part. But the mothers were no less anxious to get rid of their kids, during the day at least. Fortunately, the city offered a summer program at the city playgrounds. You could run through the sprinklers (our playground couldn’t afford a pool), play baseball or basketball or even tennis, and there were 550px-Make-Lanyards-Step-8crafts. I was born being into crafts, and I am sure the city offered many, but only one stands out. Gimp. The first stitch, weave, whatever you called it, could be tricky but once done you were off and creating all sorts of things. I miss gimp. I miss summers running through sprinklers and popping tar bubbles. Do kids today even know what tar bubbles are and how they can fascinate for hours? Think I’ll go through my craft closet and find some gimp. I know I have some. There must be someone who needs a cool keychain.



Published by Kate Eileen Shannon

Artist, Crafter, Writer, purveyor of ephemera and bagatelle

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