Tuesday, October 15, 2013
I've been collecting dolls since I was ten years old, give or take a few years. Long before the internet, I'd check out the latest edition of Doll World magazine, always skimming the fascinating articles, pictures and collector's stories of what inspired them to collect dolls. Shirley Temple didn't appeal to me, but do recall I read and noticed more pictures and stories of that particular doll than any other. She was a famous child star, and one that was way before my time. That's pretty much all I grasped about her as a kid growing up. Ever since my mom had told me about the dolls she had as a girl, which were quite impressive: Thumbelina, Suzy Smart and Chatty Cathy, I was on a mission to find those particular dolls. As luck would have it, mom and I stopped in a corner junk store late one evening. Rushed as usual mom reminded me, "Don't take forever in a day looking at stuff." Mom had worked all day long and she still needed to make supper, get a load of laundry in the wash, plus make sure we kids were tucked in on time during the school week. One man's junk is another man's treasure... I often heard the adage quite frequently. And there she was sitting on the shelf, a pitiful sight of a Chatty Cathy doll, circa 1950's and hardly any blonde hair left on its head. I pointed out the doll to my mom, who couldn't believe what I just discovered. The price was expensive. $10 for a non-working doll. Mom didn't want to tell me it would have been a waste of money and back in the late 80s, ten dollars was a considerable sum for an old doll. And why should I get a doll and leave out my other siblings? Did I do anything special to deserve this particular doll other than flash my puppy dog eyes? My mom glanced at the old lady behind the counter, who appeared as though she would chew iron and spit nails. And would she even consider doing any less on the doll? I prepared my little mind that the old lady would like snap at me like a grouch and holler, "No!" Instead, I was quite surprised when my mom haggled on the price and we got out of there with my first true "antique" doll for $5. I was overjoyed and have one photo of that very doll. The image is blurry. The doll in the green dress is unknown.