Definitely click for larger view.

Definitely click for larger view.

WHEN I WAS A KID, THERE WERE A FEW THINGS THAT FASCINATED ME MORE THAN MOST. I call these things magic. These were things that I marveled at but could not fully grasp how it was done. Kaleidoscopes were one. I was continually amazed at how it worked, how infinitely variable and beautiful it was. Magnets were another source of fascination. What was this invisible power that attracted and repelled one another? Why did it work on some metal but not others?

, the kind that only showed up at the fourth of July, was yet another. I guess sparklers would fall under the category of fire, as I was something of a pyromaniac as a kid. This was evidenced by the fact that I once caught a chair on fire in our house, which for sure ended up with an old-fashioned spanking delivered from my father.

Magnifying lens were another, especially when it came to focusing the power of the sun to catch a piece of paper on fire. You had to have patience, but soon enough came smoke, then poof! Fire! I told you. Pyromania.

In the summertime, I was very much fascinated with flowers. Like kaleidoscopes, the neighborhood was filled with flowers of seemingly endless varieties. Each one, different from the other, had similar parts but so very varied in color, texture and smell. While my own yard was not so exotic, there were neighbors who had some wonderful varieties. I know that tulips were a favorite, but the iris was probably my all time favorite and still is to this day.

So, where in the heck am I going with all this? I found an “on-line” kaleidoscope that is pretty darned amazing. You’ll see what I mean by going here.

So, what fascinated you as a child, dear readers?