Somebody at work was complaining the other day about feeling like she hadn’t accomplished anything that day because she spent all her time “putting out fires”. I could relate; I have days like that pretty regularly. But with Christmas approaching, the thought occurred to me that it’d be fun to get her a toy fireman’s helmet as a gag gift, and that led me to remember one of the coolest toys of my childhood, a Texaco Fire Chief helmet.
This was not just any plastic toy hat; it had an adjustable head strap, and a microphone with an amplifier and speaker built into the front of the helmet. I don’t remember when I got the helmet; probably a Christmas gift that kinda blended in with all the other gifts, not leaving any distinct memories. I also have no idea what happened to it, but I’d bet it was jettisoned back in 1977 when my family moved from the house I grew up in — a lot of stuff disappeared during that move. By that time I had pretty much outgrown that toy, but these days I’d sure like to have it back, just for old time’s sake. I do remember being frustrated with it not working, but if I had it now, I bet I could get it working again.
I found several helmets like mine up for bids on eBay (of course); the one pictured was in particularly good condition, and had some great photos (that I could actually borrow; it’s eBay is making it pretty tough to link or directly download images from auctions these days.) I’m really tempted to bid on it.
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