Friday, January 20, 2012

Sepia Saturday: A Tale of Two Dollies

Sepia Saturday challenges bloggers to share family history through old photographs.




This week’s Sepia Saturday challenge features dolls.  The challenge has been narrowing down my options.  I have 3 stories about 2 dolls. 





#1 – Let’s start with this picture of my mother Mary Eleanor Davis Slade, probably late 1930s, cradling her Shirley Temple doll.  She seems very happy with this popular toy UNLIKE several years before at Christmas when she was 5 or 6 years old. She had asked for a doll WITH HAIR and the new-style doll carriage of steel and cloth.  Unfortunately, her aunts Violetta and Velma convinced her mother that those new dolls were ugly.  No, little Mary E. must have a bald doll and wicker carriage because they were beautiful and so much better than those new-fangled toys.  When little Mary E. awoke Christmas morning to this major disappointment, she opened the front door and shoved that wicker carriage and bald doll out onto the porch and slammed the door. 

We all loved Violetta and Velma, but honestly, they could be rather snobbish.  This story gives a little insight into what Grandma had to put up with from her sisters-in-law, who she suspected never thought she was good enough for their brother.  Isn't it funny how people who never had children always seem to know how to raise them? 

#2 – I have a Shirley Temple doll too.  




She arrived one Christmas along with a doll trunk full of clothes made by Santa-Momma. She’s wearing one of those dresses in the picture. The only other outfit that I still have is this blue corduroy coat. I see the other outfits in my mind’s eye but ….



#3 – And now for my sad story.  I cannot throw this doll away.  It’s Poor Pitiful Pearl, a doll from the late 50s-early 60s.  You can read about her HERE.   I remember seeing her in the Sears catalog.  My heart broke for her.  I knew no little girl would want this ugly doll for Christmas, so I HAD to ask Santa for her.  I could not bear the thought of this doll being left behind at the store while all the other toys went to loving homes. 


 
In this picture she’s wearing one of my sister’s Chatty Cathy outfits.  No telling what became of Pearl’s rag dress or her party dress.  If you looked at the link to read the history of Poor Pitiful Pearl, you saw that she originally had bangs and long hair.  Yeah, I cut it.  I loved that doll and always tried to make her beautiful.  I even told my friend Linda’s mother that Daddy said Linda and Pearl looked alike.  My parents nearly died on the spot!
 

22 comments:

  1. Too funny! I love that your mother threw the doll and carriage on the front porch - she knew what she wanted and she wasn't settling.

    I also laughed out loud when I saw Poor Pitiful Pearl and read her story. At least she found a nice home!

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    1. Hi Wendy! Thanks for this delightful post. I am so happy that you rescued the homely doll from Sears, that sounds like something that I would do.

      I can't figure out how to comment on here, so I just replied to Teresa's.

      Thanks so much for stopping by to say hi.

      Kathy M.

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  2. That's a cute story about your mother. I like the Pitiful Pearl idea, but her face looks kind of creepy to me.

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  3. These are great stories. The one about Pitiful Pearl just proves that you have always been a kind-hearted person.

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    1. HA -- yes, I am. I can't believe I've been passed over for sainthood so many times!

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  4. The Shirley Temple clothes are gone? I wonder what happened to them? =(

    I had forgotten Daddy said that about Pearl and Linda! hahahaha

    I love that story about Momma!

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  5. I'm so glad to know the name of that little doll with the unusual face - Poor Pitiful Pearl. I know a little girl who looks exactly like her! I kept trying to think of the doll's name. I'll never mention the doll to the little girl I know, though.

    Your mother must have had a strong personality. What a cute story.

    Thanks for sharing your dolls.

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  6. Thanks for two delightful stories, as well as dropping by my blog!♥

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  7. Very enjoyable stories. I can see why you had to have Poor Pitiful Pearl and why you can’t give her up.

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  8. That trunk looks as if it ready to burst open and the dolls' clothes spill out.
    I beginning to get worried as I have only see dolls and stories from SS ladies, Hope I'm not the only man involved.
    Enjoyed your post and Poor Pitiful Pearl.

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  9. Pearl is a Bit Of A Doll! Actuallyshe is quite cute And you managed to make her smile!

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  10. This is so funny! I adore it. It brought back memories of my brother and sister dipping a doll in black tar. My sister wanted a black baby doll and big brother knew just how to make her dreams some true ....

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  11. I had trouble figuring out how to comment, as Kathy did. There was nothing that said "comment" that I could find. Finally clicked on "reply" and the comment sign came up.
    SO- loved the story about Mary. Reminded me of my brother, who often said "what'd you get me this for?
    I once knew Shirley Temple's daughter- what a brat! (I hope I don't get sued for that) Her mother was a lovely doll, though.

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  12. P.S. Check out my sister, Nancy's blog about "Poor pitiful people"
    http://cimilarcinema.blogspot.com/2011/11/poor-pitiful-people.html
    Barbara

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  13. Your Mom was determined and likely a match for the aunts! Funny! I think you had a very caring streak early on for asking for Poor Pitiful Pearl, she is not all that pitiful...

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  14. Great stories and great pictures. A thoroughly enjoyable read.

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  15. I don't know, I think I rather like Poor Pitiful Pearl. :)

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  16. Your poor Mum must have been horribly disappointed! I'm glad you rescued Pearl and looked after her :-) Jo

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  17. Great story and I love that last doll she just needed a little love!

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  18. I remember seeing Poor Pitiful Pearl in the Christmas catalog! She was an interesting doll ahead of her time. Oh to be able to sit and browse through one of those Christmas wish books again.

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  19. I've put my own parents on the spot,
    saying things that embarrassed them,
    though they did say these back home...
    :)~
    HUGZ

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  20. Thanks for visiting my post on my doll. I love your stories and you made me laugh with last comment. I hope you are writing down these stories for future generations, They are great. Glad I found you will be back, grace

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