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!