The Hula Hoop

has turned 50

As a 10 year old in the summer of 1958, my 14-year-old sister, Laurie, and I had our first Hula-Hooping experience at a friend's house. We begged our parents to buy us one -- they were one dollar.

My parents agreed to buy us one, but we had to share it. They were so popular, you could not buy one anywhere.

I called every drug store in St. Louis Park, and Brookside Drug on Excelsior Boulevard put my name on a Hula Hoop waiting list. They told me they would call me when my Hula Hoop came in.

I received the call about a week later, and Laurie and I were proud owners of a yellow Hula Hoop.

After about two weeks of Hula Hooping, we thought it would be cool if we could Hula Hoop with water inside the hollow yellow plastic. I took the Hula Hoop apart and poured water in it. This turned out to be the first of many bad ideas in my life.

With water in it, the toy no longer Hulaed or Hooped. I tried to get the water out and put the Hula Hoop back together, but our precious yellow Hula Hoop was never the same. We begged our parents for a second Hula Hoop. The answer was no, and I vaguely remember getting my first lesson on how money does not grow on trees.

By the end of the summer of 1958, the fad was over. Drug stores were loaded with Hula Hoop inventory. Desnick's drug store on Minnetonka Boulevard had them at 3/$1. Even at 33 cents, my parents would not buy another Hula Hoop.

After all, they explained, it was time for back-to-school supplies, and money does not grow on trees.

JIM FRUEN

PLYMOUTH

Church's teachings are wrong, again

A writer in your opinion page on June 26th, wrote that GLBT lifestyle is totally contrary to the teachings of the Catholic church. Yet, there has been more and more evidence that sexual orientation is prenatal -- such as the study just published in the National Academy of Sciences. These studies, using MRI and PET scans, are showing remarkable similarities between the brains of gay men and straight women and between those of lesbians and straight men.

The Catholic church used to teach that the world was flat. Just because the church teaches that homosexuality is wrong does not make it so.

This line of thought leads to violence against people because of the way they were born.

DENNIS YELKIN

HOPKINS