Natchez youth finds yo-yo hobby

Published 12:00 am Monday, August 16, 1999

Kevin Rawlings wasn’t alive in the 1950s, but you’d never guess by the way he spins his yo-yo.

He can go around the world and walk the dog all in one breath. Even rocking the cradle poses no problem for this young man. And at just 10 years old, he can pull off a pretty slick creeper.

&uot;I think (yo-yos) are coming back into style,&uot; said Kevin as his little Lucite ball rolled swiftly up and down, up and down.

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Kevin has become quite a pro in his one year of practice with the new-fangled fad.

&uot;You have to throw it not too hard, but soft enough so it will stay down,&uot; Kevin said. &uot;It’s sort of like … go with the flow.&uot;

Even though Kevin has become fluent in yo-yo lingo, he’s not quite sure why they came back into style.

&uot;I mentioned to him how kids used to play with yo-yos when I was growing up,&uot; said Kevin’s mother, Pamela Rawlings. &uot;And all of a sudden he was interested in them. Usually he is pretty interested in things I tell him we did as kids.&uot;

To educate himself in the ways of the yo-yo, Kevin bought himself a book at the McLaurin School Book Fair. A little blue yo-yo came with it.

&uot;I was just playing with it one day and I threw it around and it came back and I caught it,&uot; Kevin said. &uot;My cousin told me I went around the world.&uot;

Now that Kevin is fluent in yo-yo lingo, he can make the yo-yo hesitate, rotate and even go to sleep.

&uot;There are two main styles of yo-yos – traditional and butterfly style,&uot; said Kevin.

The book tells about 25 tricks with names like hop the fence, the breakaway and three-leaf clover. Kevin hopes to eventually conquer them all. &uot;I’m still working on holding two or three at the same time,&uot; he said.

The young yo-yo expert has a lifetime to learn, and plans to work on perfecting his yo-yo technique until he nears 50.

&uot;It teaches me things, and I teach it things,&uot; said Kevin as the yo-yo continued to roll up and down and all around on the end of the white string. &uot;Mom, I need some more yo-yos!&uot;