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If you’ve followed me for any length of time, you might already know that I live in a small town in the middle of nowhere, Iowa. A town so small that we have no police officer (don’t tell the bad guys!). But I do see what’s going on, and I want to somehow reach out and thank those brave men and women who put their lives on that thin blue line to keep us safe.
This whole week plus while I was working on this little fellow, the first line from the chorus from the song “To Sir With Love” from the 1967 movie of the same name was playing in my mind. Anybody know what that line is…?
Thus begins the description for O.L.D. (Once-Loved Doll) No. 109, Ernie the beat cop. You can see his adoption page HERE.
Ernie is a 13″ composition Kewpie doll. It is my intention to do a series of “Hero” Kewpie dolls. The first was the mail carrier. Perhaps not an obvious choice – unless you live somewhere with extreme heat, or extreme cold, or if there are dogs on the loose. Or sometimes, mail carriers are the ones who alert others when something is amiss at someone’s house. So maybe it’s not so much of a stretch after all!
The next, whenever another Kewpie comes to my door, will be a firefighter. But for today, and always in my heart, we focus on police officers.
For those who don’t know, the first line of the chorus of “To Sir With Love” is the title of this post! I’m always assuming everybody has the same musical references as myself, but Julie (who is nine years my junior) didn’t instantly know the song I was referring to, so maybe not!
My heart goes out to these brave men and women who, for very little pay, go out into the streets and put their lives on the line for all of us. And like you, my heart breaks when I see them under attack.
I was once held up at gun point walking home from a grocery store in the early evening hours. I was in my early 20’s, and two teen girls were trailing me. I thought nothing of it. They called out and asked for directions. When I turned around to help them, they pulled out a gun.
It’s one to thing to IMAGINE what you might do when faced with such a situation, another thing when it actually happens. I previously pictured myself shoving someone’s nose up into their brains with one swift, ninja-like action. Or saying, with my vast acting skills, “Look! What’s that over there?!” and snatching their gun away when they were distracted. Or perhaps some jujitsu. I’d seen movies! How hard could it be?
But when you’re actually looking into the barrel of a gun, all bets are off. All thinking is off. All I felt was absolute, abject fear like nothing I ever imagined. I let them take my purse.
When I got home, I sputtered to my roommate, “I was r-r-r….”
“What? What?!” she cried, horrified.
“I was r-r-r…” I tried to get out. I took a deep breath and finally managed to gasp, “I WAS ROBBED!”
The police arrived at our apartment moments later. They caught the two girls that night. They are the superheroes walking amongst us.
Police officers around the country do this sort of thing every day. They say goodbye to their spouses, who themselves are brave for sending their wives and husbands into the fray, not knowing if they’ll come home safe.
Since there are no local police officers I can thank, Ernie here is saying it for me. If YOU encounter a police officer, can you thank them for me?
“Who?” they will say. No matter. I am grateful all the same. Here’s the song if you’re not familiar with it, or just want to hear it again:
This song also means a lot to me because every year the graduating drama students from my high school would sing it to our much beloved theater arts teacher, DJ. From the comments on the video, a lot of other students from other high schools had the same brilliant idea. It’s a great song!
Billy and Bingo were adopted by Karen L. of Oakton, Virginia. A new face! I love new faces! I love old faces! I LOVE AND APPRECIATE YOU ALL. Thank you, Karen, it’s been a pleasure and I hope to see you again.
And with that, I leave you! Happy last day of April, you’re my favorite.
“Dot, be nice to Shirley.”
Then I had to laugh too. Shirley was trying to see her own “hat,” which was an overly thick acrylic replacement wig. She was flipping her head heavenward and trying to catch a glimpse. Somehow, her eyes could just never get there in time. I lifted her to look at herself in the hall tree mirror.
Reader, my heart sank. I knew that there wasn’t a Shirley Temple wig in my stash, and heaven knows when I’d ever get one! But this Shirley – whose first little human had named Billie – was so eager to go. I would have to come up with something…
Thus begins the description for Hazel Twigg O.L.D. (Once-Loved Doll) No. 108, our little Billie and her hobby horse Bingo. You can see their adoption page HERE.
I was so excited to get to work on a little cowgirl as soon as the idea came to me from a little voice with equally tiny fists. Especially when I saw images like these:
What great spirit! Ten gallon hats! Fur chaps! FRINGE! But then I remembered: in 1936, the Ideal Toy Company, manufacturers of Shirley Temple dolls, had come out with a Shirley Temple cowgirl for the Texas Centennial.
The more I looked at that picture of the original Shirley Temple cowgirl doll, the more intimidated I became. She had been so well done! Any idea of mine on how she would look paled in comparison.
“One word,” that helpful little voice said when I called her in despair.
“What word is that?” I asked.
Which, and I’m no mathematician, is actually THREE words, but no matter! PHEW. I was inspired! And SAVED. And about to get a lot of holes in my fingernails. Embroidering leather is NOT for sissies!
“Rockabilly” is hard to define, but when I looked up images for that three worded phrase, up popped a definite style. Lots of embroidered flowers and the exact kind of free spirit of those black and white cowgirl images above.
And it’s a good thing this Shirley is only 13″ tall! I of course didn’t have small leather fringe laying around, so I had to cut it all. It was a little bit nerve racking: one false move, and your fringe would be missing a “tooth”!
The non-Shirley wig I found for Billie in my stash is a vintage human hair wig in braids. It was a little large for her and had to be adjusted, but I liked what the warm tone of it did for her.
So there you have her! I’d like to thank my sister Julie for giving me that boost, and my mom for sending me a care package that contained those snippy scissors. I LOVE those things! Thank you, Mom! And thank you all for being here. Truly.
And with that, I leave you! Happy “Spring,” we’ve been recently clobbered by snow and ice!
Hot or cold, you’re my favorite!
My heart went through a plethora of emotions upon seeing this little girl at my door. First, of course, was EXCITEMENT. I didn’t know if I’d ever see the day when an American Child would come strolling into my house! AT LAST!!
The next emotion was dismay. Honestly, 83% of the O.L.D.s (Once-Loved Dolls) that come here are naked and bald. But this one was different: Someone had loved this girl enough to remold nearly all her fingers, and then inexplicably put her away, most likely in an attic judging by the fly dirt. Without even a rag to protect her! All those years…
The final emotion was determination. To misquote Shakespeare, “If you prick me, am I not sawdust and glue?”
This girl, special and forlorn, deserved to be loved again no matter how daunting the task. So without further adieu…
Hazel Twigg No. 107 is an Effanbee American Child doll, and her name is Holly. You can see her adoption page HERE.
“American Child” dolls were manufactured in the 1930’s for about four years by the Effanbee doll company, who would later manufacture Anne Shirley dolls which were produced for 20 years, making the American Child doll’s much more rare.
There were six different face shapes in all. That combined with different hair and eye colors meant that little girls could have dolls that looked just like themselves!
They were also one of 17 dolls chosen for the “Classic American Dolls” postage stamps that came out in 1997. It had taken nearly 10 years to decide which dolls would make the cut, so you know they’re something special.
Segue alert! WHEN WORLDS COLLIDE.
As you may know, my sister Julie who is The Mayor also works at yon post office in Pokey, and I love old dolls! She tries to keep me realistic, bless her heart. I told her my plans for Holly.
“She does NOT need THREE DRESSES!”
This was the first time in months I had seen Julie for any length of time. Cold weather makes hermits of us all. I vaguely noted as I followed her tiny waving fists that her knuckles were almost as chappy as mine. It’s been a long winter here in Iowa.
Julie, sensing that my mind was elsewhere, jumped as high as she could, stretching her arms upwards as she tried to regain my attention. It worked.
“Huh,” I responded as I took in her rosy cheeks and snapping blue eyes. “I would’ve thought you’d be more upset by the two coats.”
“I AM!” This time she both waved her fists and stomped her feet. It was good to see her again. I’d forgotten how very cute and little she is.
She’s been right a lot in the past, but maybe this time she was wrong! I was determined to TRY. There was so much I wanted to do for this rare and unusual little girl.
Reader, I worked day and night. When I told Julie a few days before Holly’s adoption date what was left to be done, she said, “There will be other dolls!” (Meaning, “You can make those other things for THEM.”)
THE CURSE OF JULIE
It was 3:00 Easter Sunday afternoon and adoption time is 6:33. I’d been working since 5:00 in the morning, frantically finishing allll the little touches. I won’t tell you all the things I attempted and failed at, either due to lack of skill or time, but bless my heart, I tried! I touched base with Julie.
“I have to finish NOW. It’s not like taking pictures takes no time at all! All those outfits to change in and out of…”
“Another reason to whittle things down!” she replied.
I was giving the coat one last ironing. That lowest button would have to be lowered just a bit more – later. Where was that hat…?
Suddenly the smell of something burning accosted my nostrils. “Whatever could that be?” I wondered to myself. NoooOOooOOOoooo!!! IT WAS THE COAT. I had singed that beautiful wool! It wasn’t a mirage, it was there. PERMANENT. On the one panel that I’d done my first hand sewn buttonholes on!
“Plus, it matches the buttons!” kind Betty chimed in.
Well, there was nothing for it. I gathered the smoldering coat, found the hat that was laying nearby, as well as all of Holly’s clothes and my camera, and went into my photography/shipping room. I made that 6:33 adoption time by the skin of my teeth.
Maybe next time I’ll listen to Julie. Maybe…
Little Navy and smaller Bean were adopted by Gwen R. of Bedford, Texas! This is Gwen’s second O.L.D. Thank you so much, Gwen, it’s nice to see you again (POET)!
And with that, I leave you! Happy Wednesday, You’re my favorite.