I never COULD get one to work. Just couldn't wrap my brain around it. That didn't stop me, though, from getting THREE different Etch A Sketches over the course of my childhood.

Yes, when one would stop working, I'd get another one. As gifts, mind you. I wasn't deliberately putting myself through torture.

So, over the weekend, I got a little nostalgic about all that Etch A Sketch childhood foolishness when I learned that its inventor, Andre Cassagnes, passed away at the age of 86.

Boy, did this cat make a lot of money, or what? I mean, Etch A Sketch has to be in the Toy Hall of Fame, right?

Well, hang on, I'll check...

Yes, it is. It went in during the Hall's first year, 1998.

Hey, every kid I knew had one. My cousins, my friends in the old neighborhood, everyone. And it always amazed me how some of them could draw really intricate pictures with those things.

When I would try, well, it just looked I took a pencil and drew a bunch of squiggly lines on a gray piece of paper. I could never figure out how to turn those knobs to make the drawing mechanism go in the direction I wanted. It drove me crazy. And, of course, I'd go back to it with the idea that, "This time, I'm going to get this thing right."

Famous last words.

Oh well, may Andre Cassagnes rest in peace and on a legacy that will last forever. Hey, maybe he didn't really pass away.

Maybe if you shake him, he'll get a clean slate and start all over.

(By the way, if you ever wondered how it worked, check out the video)