I got Misha Bear in the summer of 1980 or 1981. He was the mascot toy of the 1980 Olympics in Moscow, so I reckon that it was 1980. I got it as a gift from my father on a day out that I remember including a trip to the Staten Island Zoo in New York City.

He came ready named – having been a promo toy for the Olympics “bearing” the Russian moniker ‘Misha.’ Wikipedia has more info on him than I ever knew: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Misha

Immediately after getting him, was probably the height of my affection for him, but I kept him although many other toys were given away to charity, etc as I grew up.

Know I associate him with the bit  of my childhood before my brother was born, and when my mother worked full time and I spent more time with my father – I was but of a tomboy even and preferred animals, dinosaurs and MatchBox cars to dolls and ballet.

I also hold the memory that the first time I ever touched myself was the day I got Misha bear – although he was not implicitly involved in the act!

I would be saddened if Misha were to go missing – although we have lived apart for many years (he’s been stored at my parents’ house since I moved out of it in 1995), but because I have a photo of me with him on the day I got him, I know his memory would not fade.

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