Jim Bramlett (4 June 2011)
"My first Filipino friend"

Dear friends:

He must have made a great impression on me many years ago because I still remember him.  He was my first Filipino friend.

I was about ten years old, living in my city of birth, Chattanooga, Tennessee.  Yo-yos were becoming the fad for kids, and I loved them.

Yo-yos were sold downtown in the old Five and Dime stores, such as Kress's and Woolworth's,  (Remember them?)  I liked to go there.  One of their counters was always devoted a section to yo-yo sales.  A Filipino guy was always there promoting and demonstrating them.  Man, he could really do the tricks, such as "walk the dog" and "loop the loop," and more. I was captivated.

One day I bought a new yo-yo.  The Filipino salesman engraved his name on it (they were made of wood.)  I'll never forget this guy's name.  He beautifully engraved "Jimmy Bosco," then highlighted it with an old-fashioned ink pen  He was my hero.

I had that yo-yo for many years and somehow lost it.  When I grew up and went away in the military, maybe my mother threw it away, along with a lot of other stuff.  Can't say that I blame her.

One year in my elementary school I won the yo-yo contest and a sweater for first prize.  I was so proud of that sweater, the first thing I ever won.

Sometimes I remember my first Filipino friend, Jimmy Bosco, and wonder what happened to him.  He is probably long gone now.  I wonder if he is yo-yoing in heaven where, by faith, I believe he is?

He would be surprised to know that I married a Filipina!  She is the second significant Filipino in my life.  Maybe I was subconsciously attracted to her because of my yo-yo experience (plus her many wonderful qualities).  But she cannot even yo-yo! 

My beautiful better half, Yolly

I did some research on the yo-yo and have excerpted the below from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yo-yo

Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary states that the word "yo-yo" derives from the northern PhilippineIlokano language word "yóyo".
Many other sources including Panati's Extraordinary Origins of Everyday Things say that "yo-yo" was a Tagalog word supposedly meaning "come-come" or "return". It is asserted that the yo-yo was a weapon in the Philippines.

James L. Haven and Charles Hettrick of Cincinnati, Ohio, USA, received the first United Statespatent on "...an improved construction of the toy, commonly called a bandelore..." in 1866.  However, the yo-yo would remain in relative obscurity until 1928 when a Filipino American Pedro Flores opened the Yo-yo Manufacturing Company in Santa Barbara, California. The business started with a dozen handmade toys; by November 1929, Flores was operating two additional factories in Los Angeles and Hollywood, which altogether employed 600 workers and produced 300,000 units daily

Shortly thereafter (ca. 1929), an entrepreneur named Donald Duncan recognized the potential of this new fad and purchased the Flores Yo-yo Corporation and all its assets, including the Flores name, which was transferred to the new company in 1932.  (I remember the famous Duncan yo-yo.)  In 1946, the Duncan Toys Company opened a yo-yo factory in Luck, Wisconsin, prompting the town to dub itself 'Yo-yo Capital of the World'.

Thanks, Jimmy Bosco, for inspiring and being a blessing to me.