The first Joe I remember losing was one that I truly loved to play w/ as a kid... Duke is the leader of "America's daring highly trained special mission force" but on this day he would have no one to lead but himself... for the rest of his life. I couldn't have been more than 5 maybe 6 and it was a summer day like any other... I was playing in my sand box in the back yard of my house having a hell of a battle w/ some of my other Joes when suddenly, my mom called me. I had no choice but to see what she wanted otherwise she would just keep calling for me over and over until neither of us could take it anymore. Duke at the time was my favorite figure to play w/... I remember having him in my hand or pocket all the time... He was just a cool guy. Anyway, my first instinct was to take him w/ me, but when I looked down in the sand box he was no where to be found? I looked around the immediate area all the while my moms voice kept calling "Matthew...Maatthew...Matthew Michael Skillern lets go!" Finally, she came out out to see what the hell I was doing and I told her what happened. She like all mothers took pity on me and helped me dig around in the sand looking for my fallen friend, but we couldn't find him and my mother and I never spoke of this strange experience ever again... And it isn't the last time this would happen either...
I have talked about my grandma's house a couple of times on here I think, mainly because I loved and still love being there so much. I have so many great memories of being there as a kid... But not everything was all roses and rainbows at grandma's all the time. See my Grandma's house, to this day has a rock wall next to the driveway and it was and is the perfect place to set up battles w/ the Joes. It was that kind of day... I am pretty sure my brother was w/ me this time and we had been playing for what seemed like hours. We created battle after battle and plot twist after plot twist, using the rock wall as a truly bad ass setting... Suddenly, it was time to pack it in for the day and Destro and Storm shadow had disappeared? I thought that maybe they had slid down behind one the rocks in the wall because it had cracks and seems throughout... But my brother and I couldn't find them anywhere... If you've never owned any Joes, Destro and Strom Shadow are the cream of the crop. They were so cool looking and super fun to play w/ so this whole experience was devastating to me. (mainly because I'm crazy:) But the story doesn't end there. Years later I was out side in grandma's front yard, I think playing basketball of something, when the ball rolled into the grass... I went to pick it up and there half buried in the grass and ground was Storm Shadow's torso... No legs just torso. God only knows what the poor bastard had gone through to get to that point ,since it was clear across the driveway from the rock wall... Very disturbing.
The last event involved a trip to my cousin's house where I loved to hang out as a kid! My cousin's house was also my grandparents house on my dad's side... They shared a double... So cousins and aunt on one side and my grandparents on the other... Anyway, My cousin and I were about the same age and both loved GI Joe, and whenever we hung out during that time we'd play and have battles and create stories w/ them. This visit was no different... We played for awhile when one of us (probably the cousin) got the bright Idea to bury Rock n Roll in the ground, next to my grandparents front steps. We agreed that we'd bury him there until the next time I came back to visit. I was there pretty often as a kid, so I was back not long after and we quickly ran over to the other side of the double to start digging, only to find... a new side walk freshly poured right in the area we buried Rock n Roll. We panicked and began to try and dig under the side of the concrete, but we had no luck... Rock n Rock was gone forever along w/ many other fallen Joes from other collections of the 80s' child. But I will never forget the horror of seeing the Rock n Rolls grave covered in concrete!
Good now I feel better having shared yet another completely nerdy account of my childhood. But part of why I write this blog is to is to help remind people of their inner child... We were all kids once and we all had experiences like the ones I have shared and that's what's cool about being a apart of the human race. We have our differences but at the end of the day we are all just kids trying to make the best of whatever life throws at us. I have rebuilt My Joe collection over time and that gives me great joy! If you have any missing Joe stories or any others I would love the hear them! YO JOE everyone!