Friday, June 24, 2011

Long Shot

When writing “Favorite Dolls” a couple of weeks ago, I mentioned one was Chatty Cathy’s little brother. He was the only “boy” doll I ever had and I named him Willie. But, I lost him within that first year. I found this picture on e-bay and included in the post:

Well, I decided to adopt him and won the auction! I asked the seller if she was the original owner and learned she was not. So….! I’d like to think he’s mine. Long lost and now back in my arms again! It’s a long shot, but who knows!

I had to make him something new to wear, fitting for a Texan! A typical boy, he can’t keep his shirt tucked in nicely!

He's handsome anyway!

Have you reclaimed a childhood favorite doll? With e-bay, chances are, you can!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Father's Day!

We may not shower him with praise
Nor mention his name in song,
And sometimes it seems that we forget
The joy he spreads as he goes along,
But it doesn’t mean that we don’t know
The wonderful role that he has had.
And away down deep in every heart
There’s a place that is just for Dad.....

Author Unknown

Thank you, Daddy, for always being there for me!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Fostering Imagination

Dressing up as Mommie was so much fun! I loved the way my mother would let me wear her jewelry and high-heels, hat and blouse tied up with a decorative belt. This, my new dress – a grown-up dress – was perfect to wear when I took my baby out “shopping” in what was really the living room. Oh, my. She always encouraged my cousin (two years younger) and I to fill our minds with imaginary worlds. Except, of course, when we got into her red lipstick!

Anyhoo… I remember hours and hours of cooking, cleaning, changing my baby’s clothes, rearranging and stacking her clothes and toys, telling her bedtime stories before I learned to read, and most importantly, loving my baby doll. I know now, this time of my life attempted to prepare me for the real world.

It’s fun to reflect on all the role-playing I did. I remember many times Mother would create a tent with a large sheet over the kitchen table or a few chairs – something to make my own little house. Bless her heart. It was usually constructed within our small kitchen. But, Mother knew how important it was for me to have my privacy. It was there I imagined my own perfect world.

Did you play “house” and/or “Mommie” with your dolls?

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Following the Birth Day

Today is my oldest niece’s birthday. Back then, we didn’t know if my sister was having a girl or boy until Leasa arrived late that Thursday night. The next day, my daddy took me exactly where I wanted to go!

Before visiting my sister and Leasa, we parked at the hospital and Mother went on upstairs, but Daddy & I walked to my favorite toy store, Toy World. To this day, some forty plus years later, I clearly remember our handholding stroll down Gaston Avenue. I was on a mission to buy Leasa her first doll: a Raggedy Ann.

(I love e-bay!)

I was almost sixteen at the time, and I’ve almost always held my daddy’s hand whenever I’ve had the opportunity. It’s a blessed time for me. 
I haven't a clue why I had such a mindset to get Leasa a Raggedy Ann. It became a tradition I continued a couple of years later with my second niece, Leslie. She was born on a Friday night, so the next day I entered another Toy World store!
NOTE: During the interim, I also wanted my own Raggedy Ann. My loving parents gave me (for my sweet-sixteen) a LARGE Raggedy Ann. She’s about four feet tall… and lives in Dallas. I’ll have to get a picture of her & post an update the next time we are in the city!
Indeed, Raggedy Ann is the ultimate soft-cloth doll. I had never thought about researching the history behind Raggedy Ann until this morning! A true ~ Made in America ~ doll, she’s been with us since 1915. At age 38, Johnny Gruelle – a renowned artist, illustrator, and writer – introduced to the world his “whimsical design” creation, and the rest is history! Read his full story here

Has a Raggedy Ann or Andy doll ever been among your treasures?

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Favorite Dolls

Like so many others, I played with dolls when I was a little girl. They were life-like in my child’s mind. I treated them as family, my family. Emulating my mother, they became my children. Four I remember clearly. Three are still in my life today.

One was lost along time ago, probably “adopted” by a neighbor “friend” as several attempted to take my dolls/toys home after “play-dates” or birthday parties but would get busted by Mother before it was too late. After losing Willie, she learned to check hands before anyone left the house!


I don’t remember exactly when I received my baby doll. Momma said maybe when I was three.

I’ve always called him “Baby He” or simply "Baby Doll" and dressed him in blue, or non-gender specific (not knowing that term back then, I just didn't have many "boy" clothes). Wrapped securely in a baby’s blanket, Baby He was so life-like that Mother would overhear whispers at the grocery store as I walked around carrying my baby. She would hear disgruntled comments talking about me. She told me one time she heard a busy-body say, “Look at that little girl carrying a baby!” Another one had gasped, while grumbling to her friend, “Oh, my! She’s much too young! She’ll drop the poor thing.”

Mother would always make clear who was what to the unsuspecting – as not to appear as an unfit mother – causing the ladies to laugh once they realized Baby He was my baby, not Mother’s! I remember beaming when they would give me compliments on how well I was caring for my baby.

Chatty Cathy is my true love. It seems she's always been with me!

At the time, Chatty Cathy was all the rage! I believe she was the first “talking doll” made and her pull string worked for years. I’m sad to say, she hasn’t talked for decades. I know there are doll hospitals that possibly could repair her, but I don’t want to take the chance she’ll be mistreated, ruined, or lost forever. No. I’ll keep her just the way she is!

Chatty went every where with me! She even toured the Battle Ship of Texas (USS Texas) on one of our vacations. When I got tired of carrying her, my sweet dear Daddy took over the duty. My heart still swells looking at this picture, knowing Daddy would handle Chatty as carefully and gently as he would and did me.

Shortly after Chatty Cathy came into my life, she had a little brother that also talked. The only real boy doll I ever had. I named him Willie, after my daddy. But, he went missing within a year. What can I say— I hope he’s doing well, wherever he is.

I remember him, like it was yesterday… still wearing his original suit.
(I love e-bay!)

I “retired” Chatty Cathy and Baby He once Barbie came on the scene. I still have her, too, along with her cousin Midge, and another character – can’t remember her name. I know I never got the Ken doll. After Mother saw how “developed” Barbie was, she wasn’t about to take a chance on Ken! Anyway, they “live” in Dallas. I need to bring them here, to the country, so they can join the continual celebration with Chatty Cathy and Baby He, and now (thanks to my sister) American Girls Nellie and Mia, and a few others I’ve collected over the past year.

I’d love to hear your doll story! Did you have favorites?