– Ben Martens

Throwback Thursday

Martens Memorial Day 1995

Our final installation in the series of videos from our Memorial Day family gatherings is from 1995. It looks like this Uncle Dean and Aunt Sandy’s family couldn’t come and apparently we didn’t take out the camera much. Most of the tape was a science show that Ryan and I recorded. We had quite a few different experiments with explanations of the science behind each one. I have mercifully cut most of that out of this quick recap for you.

Here is a quick reference list for all the YouTube videos:
Memorial Day 1990
Memorial Day 1991
Memorial Day 1993
Memorial Day 1995

Martens Memorial Day 1991

Last week I posted about our family Memorial Day celebrations from 1990, and now I finished editing another one. There are four of these total so I’ll see if I can do one a week. This next one is from 1991 and it was a year when it was warm enough to go swimming. It probably wasn’t very warm, but it was enough for us to enjoy swimming with cousins.

Martens Memorial Day 1990

When I was growing up, Memorial Days were a ton of fun. Most of Dad’s side of the family would get together at our house (about 20 people.) Some years it was warm enough to swim while other years we’d have cold and rain, but we would always have fun. For a few of the years, we had a video camera. The footage is far from stellar, but I stumbled on a digitized copy recently and decided to edit it down. Don’t expect a masterpiece, but it brings back fun memories for me as I watch it. There are some more that I’ll get around to editing and posting down the road.

Teddy Ruxpin

teddyruxpinTyla recently pulled out her the Teddy Ruxpin she had when she was a kid and asked if I could get it to work. Thankfully she still had one of the tapes for it too and I was able to get it all working with just a fresh set of batteries.

Our first thought was, “Wow! This thing must be worth a fortune!” It was such an iconic toy from the 80s. I looked it up and… nope.

You can go to to learn how to figure out what year your Teddy Ruxpin was created and estimate it’s value. If you have a mint condition Teddy Ruxpin with it’s original box, you might hope to get $100. Tyla’s has been played with but it still works so maybe we could get $50 out of it. In 1985, the bears sold for $69.95 (or $155 in today’s money).

So keeping iconic childhood toys isn’t a great investment, especially when millions of them were produced, but it’s still a fun blast from the past. Elijah thinks it’s the coolest thing ever. He sits on the floor and holds Teddy’s hand while Teddy sings songs.

Throwback Thursday – Tyla

This is the last Throwback Thursday for a while. Next week I’ll be starting the fantasy football recap and I don’t need two scheduled posts per week so we’ll drop these photos. And since it’s the last one, I decided to mix it up and show a picture of Tyla instead.I don’t know much about this photo except that she appears to be on a horse.

Throwback Thursday – In A Hole 1987

Dad built us a great treehouse when we were kids. I’ve been thinking a lot about it wondering if I should build something for Elijah and what it might look like. Today’s throwback picture shows just how deep the wholes were for the posts.

I guess this type of photo runs in the family because I did the same thing to Elijah when I dug the hole for the irrigation backflow prevention valve.

Throwback Thursday – Baseball 1997

I just realized that this photo was taken halfway between my birth and today. Wow. Anyway, now that I feel old, here’s a shot from my Junior year of high school baseball. This was the best team I’ve ever played on. Our coaches were awesome and our team was really good. That’s me in the #12 jersey in the middle of the back row.

I dug up the stats sheet from that year:

  • We were ranked 10th in the state and finished 21-6.
  • I had a 1.55 ERA.
  • I set the school record for picking the most people off base. The exact stat isn’t in there, but I’m pretty sure it was 16. As far as I know, that record still stands.
  • My batting average? 0.00. Yep. They usually DH’d for me, but I had 14 at bats and never got a hit. It’s a good thing I could pitch because I was terrible at batting. Pretty much they only time they put me at the plate was when they needed a bunt because I could do that reasonably well.
  • I made the All-District team and the Academic All-State team… What’s academic all-state? Well, you’re not THAT good, but you’re a geek too so we’ll give you some extra credit and make a special team for you.

By now you should hear Bruce belting out Glory Days loud and clear.

Throwback Thursday – Camping 1981

A few weeks ago we got to take Elijah to his first camp site. I wasn’t brave enough for us to spend the night, but he had fun toddling around in the dirt. Mom and Dad took me camping when I was about the same age but we were in a tent in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. From what I’ve heard, I didn’t have a ton of fun on the trip. Actually come to think of it, I wasn’t really a great camper until much later in life. As a kid I think it’s a little harder to understand the joys of sitting outside and relaxing. That’s what I did all day during the summers anyway!