Ralphie Returns

The following story was first run last December, but there are so many new readers and I like the story so much, I’m running it again.

Eric Zorn of the Chicago Tribune picked up the story and a full color picture of “Ralphie” ran in his Sunday column.

They say that my son’s Cub Scout leader David Rokusek is a “wild and crazy guy” is such an understatement.

The Crystal Laker delights the grade schoolers by devising programs around toys.

One was a Rock ‘Em, Sock ‘Em Robot Cub Scout den boxing tournament that my son won right in the community room of Pack sponsor First United Methodist Church of Crystal Lake.

First prize was, guess what, a boxed Rock ‘Em, Sock ‘Em game.

Some assembly required.

Second prize was the same thing, except assembled.

Trust me.

It would have been a lot easier if my Cub Scout had placed second.

Rokusek likes Rock ‘Em, Sock ‘Em so much that his float with that theme in a Galena Halloween parade won Honorable Mention.

The Pack 158 kids have shot off rockets two years in a row.

Mexican jumping beans delighted the boys (plus sisters who tag along) recently.

Rokusek opened a toy store in Galena, Illinois, called The Atomic Toy Company. It specializes in toys from the 1950’s and 1960’s.

Although he has made no effort to promote his store in the media, it’s started to get some internet exposure as this article by Patrick Stutz from MKEOnline shows.

And, Rokusek was interviewed this week by Dubuque’s daily newspaper—the Telegraph-Herald–for an article scheduled to run Sunday.

So why did Rokusek start a toy store?

Here’s how MKEOnline reporter Patrick Stutz put it:

“Rokusek, 38, opened The Atomic Toy Co. (311 S. Main St.) last year after deciding one day that he didn’t want to grow up. Instead, he said he wanted to bring everybody who walks through the door to his maturity level – around 10 years old.”

I would note that 10-year olds are in Cub Scouts.

The pictures I am posting of his first place entry into the Galena’s “living Christmas” window display will give you but a little idea of how the brain of this toy store owner works. Son Jacob plays Ralphie with the broken glasses.

There is no telling what you will find from your childhood in his establishment.

And, if you enjoyed playing with it enough, you just might decided to buy it for your son or daughter.

The web site where you can buy old fashioned toys is here.

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The photographs were taken by Sarah Breemer and are published with her permission.

For more McHenry County Blog, click here.

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