David's Reformed Church Congregation

David's Reformed Church Congregation
Congregation of David's Reformed Church, Montgomery Co, Ohio, Circa, 1900

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories - December 10 - Christmas Gifts- The Man from U.N.C.L.E. Gun

Best gift ever!

                                                        My dad, trying to put the gun together

For the first time, I have decided to write an "extra" post for a blog subject.  I just had to share the story of one of my brother's favorite gifts ever. 
In the movie "A Christmas Story",  Ralphie wants a "Red Ryder Carbine Action BB Gun".  In the 1960's the coolest gun on the market was not a BB gun, but a Man from U.N.C.L.E. spy set.  My brother loved that television show and his favorite character was Napoleon Solo.  On Christmas morning, he was thrilled to pieces when he opened that present and revealed the entire gun set.  This gun had a special spy scope and something like looked like a pocket knife, but when you pushed a button, it became a handgun.  Nowadays, there would be all kinds of anti-violence groups up in arms about a toy like this, but we thought it was awesome! You never knew when you would encounter some evil underworld figure out here in the suburbs and we had to be prepared!   I was able to capture these photographs of that Christmas morning from an old 8mm movie film we have.  As much as we hated that bright light shining on us on those holiday mornings, I'm so grateful that mom and dad invested in a movie camera!
My brother played with that gun set until most of the guns fell apart. Eventually, one of the guns ended up being incinerated in a bonfire that my father started in the backyard one night.  He thought the gun wasn't any good anymore so he thought he would just go ahead and get rid of it.  Unfortunately, he didn't ask my brother beforehand so by the time he found out that my brother still wanted the gun, it was too late!  We never let my dad hear the end of that and the story still lives in family lore to this day. 

There are always one or two presents that stand out in our minds from our childhoods.  Whether it was something good or maybe something not quite so good, it's good to take them out every once in a while and remember!


  1. I loved the Man From U.N.C.L.E. But my favorite was Illya. And of course now I love to see him as Duckie in NCIS. Do you suppose there is something about David McCallum & TV shows with initials in it's name?? Thanks for yet another wonderful blog post that mirrors my childhood!

  2. I had the same response as Cindy did when I read this: loved the show, loved David McCallum in it and still love him as Duckie (as do my daughters!).