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