Memories of a Vintage Doll

Hello, Friends & Followers!  I am happy to be here with you again!  I hope you are enjoying the summer and all the activities!  This post is very dear to me and I hope you will enjoy it.  

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Virginia.  Her name was Virginia.  She was beautiful with soft pale skin and beautiful red pigtails, and she had just a handful of freckles scattered across her little button nose.  And she was mine.  She was my little girl that took me everywhere with her, told me her secrets, shared tea parties with me, and snuggled me close at night.  She was mine and I was hers.  We were inseparable.  

I had been a birthday gift for her 6th birthday from her Granny.  I remember the joy on her face when she opened the package that held the box I was in.  I can’t recall who was happier  that day – me or Virginia.  From that day forward, we were together constantly.  

She washed my face every morning and combed my red tresses in a style just like hers that day.  Granny had made us matching dresses for each day of the week and they all matched the shiny red shoes we both wore daily.  She pushed me around the yard in my stroller and took me for rides on the swings.  We had daily tea parties and peanut butter cookies under the willow tree in the back yard.  We read books and played games.  I was just like a real little girl to Virginia.  I was much more than a doll.  I was a dear friend.  She had named me Kathryn, but she called me Katie.  

We grew up together for the next several years.  We celebrated Christmas and Birthdays together.  There was always a place for me at the table, and everyone in the family knew me by name.  When Granny made Virginia a new dress, she made me a matching one.  When Virginia got new shoes, she always got the red shiny ones just like mine.  We were peas in a pod, Virginia and I.  I even got to go on vacation with her family!  Not only did I have my own little girl, but I also had a family.  I was the happiest of dolls!  

Virginia was going to turn 10 years old soon.  We were busy making party decorations and hats for the guests to wear.  We had made invitations for several of the other little girls in the neighborhood.  Virginia’s mother had bought brightly colored balloons that had happy birthday printed on them.  There were streamers hung around the dining room and chairs around the table enough for all the guests and Virginia and I.  In the very center of the table sat the most beautiful white cake with pale pink roses around the edges that had “happy 10th birthday Virginia” written on it.  This was going to be the most glorious tea party we had ever had.  The whole house was buzzing with excitement over Virginia’s birthday party.

That afternoon around 2:00 o’clock, Virginia placed me in the chair right beside hers at the party table.  The doorbell began ringing and each time it rang, in came a beautiful little girl with a beautiful gift wrapped for Virginia.  The doorbell rang one, two, three, and finally there were seven little girls around the party table with Virginia and I.  I noticed some whispering going on between the little girls and they were looking at me and giggling under their breath.  Virginia noticed too…finally one of them giggled and said, “Oh, Virginia, you’re much too old now to play with that doll.”  I wasn’t just a doll.  I was her friend.   She would never get too old to play with me.  But while all the little girls were laughing and playing party games, Virginia quietly moved me from my seat at the table to a chair over in the corner of the room.  I watched the rest of the party from the corner – all alone.  Being a doll, I couldn’t cry, but I could feel my heart breaking and didn’t understand what was happening here. 

       

In the days to come, Virginia’s mother helped Virginia to place her new gifts in an orderly fashion in her bedroom.  There was a big troll looking doll and she sat him in my rocker right next to Virginia’s.  That had been my spot since Virginia’s 6th birthday…There were too many toys and the room looks cluttered announced Virginia’s mother.  She made straight away to the attic and brought back a big box.  She instructed Virginia to put some of the older toys into the box to be taken to the attic for storage.  Virginia did as mother asked.  Whew!  I was still safely sitting in the center of Virginia’s bed.  Mother came back shortly and asked Virginia if she had everything ready to go to the attic.  Virginia nodded and pointed to the box in the center of the floor that was teeming with older toys and games that now seemed baby-like for a 10 year old.  Mother picked up the box and started out of the room, then looking back at me, she said, “You’re getting too old to play with dolls, Virginia.  Let’s put Katie in the box and take her to the attic for safe keeping.”  I could feel my heart sink.  

It was happening.  I was on my way to the attic with all the other toys that were no longer going to be played with.  Mother announced on her way up the stairs that these could be sold at the neighborhood yard sale.  She plopped the box down in the far corner of the attic.  She promptly went downstairs with her heels clicking on the wooden steps and I heard the door solidly shut.  It was dark up here and I didn’t have the safety of cuddling next to Virginia.  I knew that soon she would be up to get me when she realized the mistake that had been made.  I waited for what seemed like days, and still Virginia didn’t come to retrieve me.  I could hear her sweet voice talking to the troll doll…tears stung my eyes.  Days turned to weeks, weeks to months and months to years.  The box was so far in the corner that everyone had forgotten it was there.  That meant that I was just a memory in some old photographs by this time.  

Sometimes the attic was frigidly cold and sometimes it was sweltering hot.  Those are not very good conditions for a beautiful doll such as myself.  My hair began getting dusty and my  curls were drooping.  My beautiful dress was creased and wrinkled and my shiny red shoes were no longer shiny.  What was happening to me?  I finally closed my eyes and took a long nap hoping that when I awoke I would see this had all been a bad dream.  

I awoke to the sound of the attic door opening and footsteps on the stairs.  There stood mother with her hands on her hips as if looking for a place to begin.  Behind her stood a beautiful young lady that reminded me of my Virginia, but she was much taller and thinner and didn’t have on the red shoes like mine. Had I napped that long?  Had Virginia grown up?  The two began hauling boxes from the attic down to the garage.  I overheard them talking that there was going to be a yard sale….whatever that is.  Boxes full of things accumulated over the years began to line the wall along the floor of the garage.  Soon the boxes were emptied and items place on tables with stickers on them that were “prices.”  What was a “price?”  I would find out soon enough.  

Once that day, Virginia picked me up and I recalled her warm hugs.  She held me close and reminisced  of the good times we had shared so many years ago.  Surely she would have missed me and save me from this terrible thing called a yard sale, but no.  She placed me back on the table and put a sale price on me!

Early the next morning, the garage door went up and there were so many people outside in the driveway.  Some were carrying chairs and games, and there was a lady carrying the pillow from off Granny’s sofa! Those were all items from our home.  They were trading money for them and taking them off to their own homes.  I was beginning to understand the meaning of a yard sale.  It was very scary to me. 

It was getting early in the afternoon and a lady with a kind face and red curly hair walked past the table on which I sat.  She walked on by and quietly turned around and picked me up.  Her hands were smooth and her grasp was gentle.  She asked how much is this doll?  She was told that it was late in the day and everything on that particular table was on sale for one dollar.  She reached into her bag and handed Virginia’s mother the dollar bill.  She held me at arm’s length and smiled and down the driveway we went to her parked car.  I watched as Virginia’s face faded in the distance.  That was the last time I would see my Virginia.  Little did I know what was in store for me.

We reached the lady’s car and she sat me in the front seat and put a strap around me to hold me in.  This was certainly a lot different that the stroller rides I remembered.  I watched the houses and unfamiliar streets breeze past the windows.  Finally we pulled into a driveway and stopped.  She picked me up and carried me in to the most beautiful house.  It had beautiful colors on the walls and paintings.  It was a far cry from the attic where I had been for the past several years.  She took me to the back of the house to a place she called her workshop.  She began to explain that she loved dolls and that she collected them.  She hung up her coat and picked me up.  We went to the next room and she turned on the lights.  I could see all the beautiful dolls in their beautiful dresses and hairstyles.  Some were set up on rocking horses, some were having tea, others were playing London Bridge.  She showed me around and smiled and gave me a hug. ” Soon, you too, will live in this room with all the other beautiful dolls.  I was very uneasy with that as I felt old and frumpy not to mention dusty from the attic.  I was pretty sure I wouldn’t fit in here…. You are such a beauty, I think I will call you Katheryn.”

Back to the workshop we went and a flurry of preparations began.  I had a warm, soapy bath to get the years of dust off of me.  She washed and set my hair.  She picked out a new dress for me and it was one that matched my  red shoes!  She cleaned and buffed them and made them shiny again.  I began to feel safe and even loved again that afternoon.  She worked nonstop on me for two days all the time saying that I was going to be pretty again.  I was beginning to have hope again.  She kept saying that she was a doll collector and loved to restore vintage dolls and that I was a perfect doll for restoration.  She kept saying that I was going to be beautiful again almost as though she was trying to convince me.  When she was all but finished, she tied a beautiful bow in my hair.  She stood back and looked at me and smiled a very contented smile.  She said the bow in the doll’s hair is always the final step of the restoration and it was like putting a crown on my head.  She proudly proclaimed me PRETTY once again.  We went past a mirror on the way back to the room where the beautiful dolls were and I caught a glimpse of myself as we went by.  She was correct!  I WAS pretty!  And there were my shiny red shoes on my feet just like always.  

The kind lady found just the right spot for me in what she called her doll room.  I loved it there.  Everyone was so nice and the lady assured me that I had a forever home there with her and the other dolls.  Evidently doll collectors keep their dolls for a very long time.  Every afternoon she came in and had tea in the arm chair in the corner.  She talked to each of us and reminded us of how very special we were to her.  Occasionally she would bring in another doll, but there was always room for one more and we knew we were all loved.  

I occasionally still think of Virginia and our years together, but I always look around the room at all my dolly friends and rest easy that I now live with a doll collector and I will always be loved and appreciated.  

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Well, that’s it for this edition of BabyBoomerDolls.net.  I will look forward to being with you again soon. Stay well.  Stay safe.  Most of all, be kind to one another!

Hugs,

Lynn

BabyBoomerDolls

 

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