Monday, February 18, 2008


It seems that Gail's beautiful renderings on needlepoint canvas of the AG dolls has started several episodes among many of us of remembering beloved dolls in our early lives. This has, as have other activities, evoked wonderful memories of childhood, throughout which a common thread has been a beloved doll of some kind. This photograph is one of my most treasured possessions - my parents sometime, I think, in the spring of 1944 (I wasn't four years old just yet, as I celebrated that birthday at Ft. Pierce, Fla. in connection again with Daddy's preparation to go overseas in the Pacific front) I call this the "Palm Tree Dress Photo." Daddy had just returned from Hawaii, and brought Mother this dress - white with fine shoulder pads and a green palm tree. She was soooo elegant to me in that dress with her "spectator pumps," which were high fashion in footwear at the time. Daddy was tall and handsome in his dress whites. I remembered this photo, as I do admire my parents so in continuing, against great odds, during WWII in giving me some semblance of a normal childhood - and a doll (and new best friend) for each birthday/Christmas. Toys were scarce during that time, and dolls were expensive - but I always had one. I think it was Linda Lou who was my gift for the 4th b'day, but she met a sad end in that we were in Norfolk later that year, and downtown in a snow and wind storm. Daddy was in his dress uniform, and supposed to keep his right arm free for saluting, but I whined and yowled, as I remember, until he picked me up. Then I lost control and dropped the box containing many clothes belonging to Linda Lou that my grandmother had sewn for us, and the clothes blew out into the street just as a streetcar full of sailors was passing by. It had to stop while Daddy went out to retrieve all those doll clothes. You can imagine the glee of those sailors. Daddy was an officer. Linda Lou spent the duration of the war in a locker at the train station. In remorse, for my 5th birthday (at Corona Del Mar while Daddy was overseas) I was given a rag doll dressed like Rosie the Riveter, whom I immediately defrocked and attired with a dress. She was Christened "Susan Jane," and stayed with me through college. Until I married and left home, I still was given a beautiful doll each Christmas - mainly those absolutely exquisite Madame Alexanderkins - the small ones. My sister later destroyed those, as she was never a doll person. Oh well. That's what baby sisters are for. She will be 60 next month. EGAD!! I'm older than dirt.


Anne Stradal said...

What fond memories of cherished doll-friends! My 8-inch Madame Alexander dolls--the Little Women and the Swedish doll--are still in their original boxes in my closet. The fact that they're still in pristine condition I attribute to being an only child and loving them dearly. Now if only my sons would graduate from college so I might someday pass the dolls to a granddaughter!

Granny Fran said...

Weren't the women especially beautifu in the fashions of that day? I remember some of my mom's stylish dresses and high heeled shoes (size 4 1/2) when I was little. I wasn't a great doll person, but I had an eggshell china tea set that still sits in the glass doored top of my Hoosier along with my hubbie's colorful Akro Agate glass tea set. I'm amazed that we both kept them intact.