Monday, July 26, 2010

Country Camping with Barbie and Friends

When I was young, the only vacations my family ever took involved camping. We never stayed in a motel or even a cabin. My sister and I (and occasionally my next-oldest brother) would pile into the '70 Impala and we'd be off dragging the Apache Pop-up camper behind us. Upon arriving at a campground, my dad would sequentially throw us kids out of the car to guard a site while he drove on to see if there wasn't something just a bit better. Utilizing my mom, he could "reserve" up to 4 sites while he decided. Upon deciding, the call would go out and all other outposts would convene on the chosen site whereupon my father would swear the camper into submission.

As crazy and as simple as that sounds, those were days we looked forward to all year round.

So when Christmas of 1972 arrived and along with it my sister's Barbie Country Camper, I was probably as excited as her. Finally, my G.I. Joe (with the Kung Fu grip) had a recreational vehicle to...well, to *recreate* in! Sure, it was no man van, but if it meant he could go camping, Barbie's psychedelic, flower-power wussy wagon would have to do. So, when my sister wasn't around, Joe was off on an adventure, arm resting on the window, eyes fixed on the horizon.

Last week, that all flashed back to me when I found one in very nice condition at a garage sale off of Becker Road in South St. Louis County. My first thought was of course my sister, but I was pretty sure she still had hers (she does, I later found out) and of course secondly eBay. It was $5 so I felt pretty comfortable I'd get my investment back. As it turns out, maybe not. That's about what they're worth. Who'd have thought.

So here I am stuck with Barbie's Country Camper. But there could be worse things. The kids enjoy playing with it and maybe when they're not looking, Joe just might head out on the road again, adventure just beyond the horizon.


  1. wow, great post! i can't believe these aren't worth more -- there can't be that many around, especially in this condition. they were so flimsy!

    also, they are a LOT groovier than i remembered.

  2. My jaw dropped....It's beautiful


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