RDP #41 – VINTAGE STUFF – Marilyn Armstrong

RDP #41 – VINTAGE

Each time I get one of these “Vintage” things, I think I should post pictures of Garry and I. We are definitely vintage, though today has been a yeoman’s effort at house cleaning — or at least cleaning the kitchen, living room, stairs, and foyer.

Photo: Garry Armstrong – circa 1928

It would have been less strenuous if Gibbs has not thought this was a great time to go swimming in the water bowl. Each time I cleaned up the gallon or two of water all over the floor, I’d turn around and there was another gallon there. And of course, the water bowl was all full of mud and the VERY clean kitchen floor had his muddy footprints on them. So you could say we have a thrice cleaned kitchen and hallway floor.

Qing dynasty rice bowl, typically used by field workers. The blue chicken is a cultural thing. The bowl is almost 200 years old — and it isn’t even close to my oldest piece of pottery.

This was the day I moved cabinets to get behind them (ew!) and under the feet (double ew!). Next time I have the courage of my convictions, I’ll move the piece in the middle where I store the pots and pans, as well as the dog, treats et al. It doesn’t get moved because it’s heavy. There’s a lot unloading of other things before we even think about moving it. Not an easy job for a couple younger than we and a huge job for us.

Ana McGuffey – 1946 – Mme. Alexander – Doll’s faces are intended to embody the “adorable” factor of real toddlers.

There are an awful lot of vintage things around this place, even discounting Garry and me as the primary vintage couple.

See the pictures for other vintage items and wave to us as the vintage couple who seem to collect stuff even older than we are. Old, older oldest?

WORLD SHARING – FEBRUARY 2018

Share Your World – February 5, 2018


What would be your ideal fantasy way to spend Monday?

You know, I’m retired so everyday is pretty much like every other day. If no one reminds me of what’s on TV, I don’t know what day it is. The only reason I know the date is because I schedule posts in advance.

Bringing me, briefly, to the subject of scheduling. Except for the little Daily Post in the morning, I schedule everything. Why? Because I am the typo queen and therefore,  a ceaseless editor. There is a 50-50 chance that if I have enough time, I’ll find most of the typos and get rid of them before publication.

Reality? I miss at least half of the half and there are always typos or other errors at publication, no matter how much time I’ve left myself to edit. I don’t seem to be getting better, either. Worse, if anything. I forget to complete words, sometimes leaving out the final letter … or syllable. Most annoying, while my brain is thinking “write” my fingers are typing “right.”

How does that happen? Occasionally, what my fingers type has absolutely nothing to do with what I was thinking. I find that odd to say the least and if anyone has a scientific explanation for this phenomenon, I’d really like to hear it.

What one person that you are out of contact with would you like to say thank you to?

P.S. 35, Queens

My fourth grade teacher who told me to write more and then, when I thought I’d written enough, encouraged me to write even more than that! She seemed to think I had a bit of talent, the dear.

List your favorite toys or games as a kid?

Dolls were my personal favorite and remarkably, still are. But games to be played with others? Monopoly was the first big one. but most card games were a hot second. By the time we (my little friends and I) were ten, we were playing bridge. Not well and with a lot of cheating — we showed our partner our cards. But we learned to play and eventually, we also learned to bid and in the end, I was a not-too-bad bridge player.

Annabelle – The first and best

I played lots of board games over the years, from Parcheesi to Sorry. Clue was not a big one, maybe because it was a bit slow and I never enjoyed chess. I got so involved in planning future moves, I was usually dead be the third real move.

What did you appreciate or what made you smile this past week?  Feel free to use a quote, a photo, a story, or even a combination. 

We had a great time visiting Tom and Ellin.

It’s a high old time for great conversation. Really good conversation is such a rarity these days! It was also nice to see the family for the Super Bowl and even losing didn’t ruin the moment.

TRIPLE THREAT – A PHOTO A WEEK CHALLENGE

A Photo a Week Challenge: Threes

Three  identical (almost) Margaret O’Brien dolls, from Madame Alexander, all dressed in original clothing. Hard-plastic, strung dolls from the late 1940s.

STUFFIES AND TEDDIES AND BEARS, WITH DOLLS!

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Teddy Bears, Dolls, Toys

Robby the Robot
Dolls
Technically, these belong to the dawgz. But Garry likes to play with them!
Teddy with Hewy, Dewy, and Louie

DOLLS

WEEKLY WORDPRESS PHOTO CHALLENGE | NOSTALGIA | THE DAILY POST


The world has changed in myriad ways — huge and subtle — since I grew up. When I was a kid, none of us, regardless of how much money our parents had or didn’t have, got everything. You wanted everything, sure, because kids always want everything … but you got something. In my house, since we didn’t celebrate Christmas, birthdays were the big gift-giving day.

Annabelle - 1952, Mme. Alexander
Annabelle – 1952, Mme. Alexander

Each year on my birthday from when I was three until I was eight, I got one really nice doll. When I was five, I got “Annabelle,” the 1952 special doll from Madame Alexander. She would be my favorite for the rest of my life. Over her long life (she was born in 1952) she has been rewigged, restrung, repainted, and redressed half a dozen times.

I really played with my dolls. They were my friends. I talked to them. I told them everything and I took them everywhere. Everything I did, felt, hoped for, and feared, my dolls knew.

My dolls understood. Always.

Toni (22") Revlon, 1953
Toni (22″) Revlon, 1953

When I was six, I got Toni. She was Revlon’s “flagship” girl doll with hair that could be “permanent waved” using a doll version of the Toni Permanent Wave kit. The set was just tiny plastic rollers and sugar-water and they didn’t really curl hair. They just made it sticky … which attracted ants. So then you had to wash it and you were lucky if the wig didn’t come right off her head.

Madame Alexander as herself - 1985
Madame Alexander as herself – 1985

There was Betsy Wetsy — also from Revlon, I believe (Tiny Tears was made by American Character). Those were the memorable dolls. Lots of little 8″ Ginnie dolls too and too many outfits to recall. Ginnie was in my day what Barbie was to the next generations of girls. It is perhaps a reflection of how the concept of girlhood changed during those years. By the time I turned 9, it was all about books.

From then on, I got books for my birthdays, though usually one other “special” thing too. One year, my beloved bicycle arrived. It was much too big for me to ride. I was a tiny wisp of a thing, but also, the only 9-year-old with a titanium frame Dutch racing bike. I had blocks on the pedals and I had to ride standing up because no way could I reach the seat or use the coaster brakes sitting down. But I grew a few inches. So, by the time I was an adolescent, I could reach the pedals without help. And, I knew I had the greatest bike ever. Tiger Racer and me … we flew!

When I was 11 I got a little transistor radio. It was a big deal, the ultra high-tech of the late 1950s. I was the only kid who had my very own portable radio. After that memory fades …

I slept with my dolls.

As I headed into my 50s, I began searching for the dolls with which I had grown up. Collecting is insidious and doll collecting even more so. I developed a bizarre lust for dolls. I didn’t know I had become a collector until I began to buy reference books so I could identify dolls by model, year, manufacturer, etc. Reference book are the significator of any kind of collector. When your reference collection is far more complete than the local library, you are a collector. Accept it. Deal with it.

These pictures are a sampling of the dolls. I tried to capture something of that ephemeral sweetness the dolls of my generation had. Perhaps show a hint of why they still give me a warm glow when I look at them. They never argue, always forgive. And they never complain and don’t mind if you drag them around by one leg with their foreheads scraping the sidewalk.

I participate in WordPress' Weekly Photo Challenge 2016
I participate in WordPress’ Weekly Photo Challenge 2016

OLD DOLLS, STILL SMILING – BLACK & WHITE SUNDAY

Black & White Sunday: Traces of the Past Y2-06


The subject of this challenge is “old things.” Traces of the past. In Paula’s words: “Make a post containing a photo (or photos) of something that comes from the past (it does not have to be a distant past).” Which is just as well, because ancient is not easy to find locally. Old is easy to find — I can just look in a mirror. Ancient is rather more rare.

I was, for a long time, a doll collector. Although I no longer actively collect, I still have several hundred dolls, mostly hard plastic strung dolls from the 1950s, but some composition dolls from the 1930s and 1940s … and some newer hard vinyl dolls from the early 1960s.

72-bw-old-dolls-dr-090516_03

Most of my dolls are “play dolls,” though I also have some fashion dolls and historical figures that were intended for display, not play. Several of my dolls are ones with which I really played as a kid. They are a little beat up, scuffed. Most of them have been restrung, rewigged, and touched up. Some significant damage hidden by their clothing, but I did the best I could to make them pretty. They deserve it.

Considering some of they are older than me, they look good. A bit dusty, but after 60 or more years, that’s not so bad.

SERENDIPITY PHOTO PROMPT 2015-6

SERENDIPITY PHOTO STORY PROMPT

WEDNESDAY – 2015 #6

Welcome to Frisbee Wednesday where we celebrate … well, whatever. Mainly, we try to write something about a picture. This week’s picture is my own, beloved plastic pal, Toni — by Ideal. She is older than she looks, having be born in 1953. Yet there is not a single wrinkle in her face!

Please try to add your own ping back (links). If you aren’t sure how to do it, put your link in a comment. That works too.

Every Wednesday or until I throw in the towel, I’ll publish a picture and write something about it. You can use any of my pictures — or one of your own — as a prompt. If you find my subject interesting, by all means, extrapolate. Any length is acceptable from a couple of sentences, to a chapter from your upcoming novel.

Please link it back to this post (ping back) so other people can find it.

WHAT DO I MEAN BY “STORY” AND “PICTURES”?

Story. Words. Poetry, prose, fact, or fiction. A couple of lines, a fanciful tale.

Pictures. Video if that’s your thing. Scanned pictures from your scrap-book. Weird pictures from the internet. Cartoons. Pictures of your family vacation and how the bear stole your food. Any picture you ever took and would like to talk about.

SIMPLE

It sounds simple. It is simple. Every picture has a story or ought to. There are no rules. Follow my lead, ignore me, follow someone else’s idea. Any picture plus some text. Short or long, truth or fiction. Prose or poetry.

One final thing: If you want to get notices of these posts, you’ll have to subscribe to Serendipity. I’ll try to title relevant posts so you can easily recognize them.

My effort for this week follows.


 STILL PLASTIC AFTER ALL THESE YEARS

My mother gave me Toni for my birthday the year I turned six. She was not my first doll. Annabelle, a lovely, blond girl from Madame Alexander, had that distinction.

Annabelle was (is) a class act, but Tony has better hair. In fact, Toni was and remains, all about the hair.

Toni - From 1953, still beautiful and young after all these years. One of my favorite plastic friends.

She came with a little box containing doll-size curlers and a “permanent wave kit.” These were the years of the “home perm.” Toni perms were the most popular home perm kids, and were quite the “in” fashion statement, the quintessence of early 1950s chic.

The success of a home permanent wave depended on the skill of the administrator (aka “mom”) and luck. Little girls typically subjected to this procedure were those with absolutely straight hair. Ten years later, their ramrod straight hair would be “The Look of the Hippy Generation.” Girls would iron their hair in an attempt to gain what their mothers tried to erase.

In the 1950s, Shirley Temple was the way a proper girl should look. To this standard mommies everywhere aspired on behalf of their daughters.

Shirley Temple Doll portrait

The curlers were teeny tiny and the “permanent wave” was sugar-water. It didn’t so much curl Toni’s hair, as make it sticky and attractive to flies and ants.

From my doll collecting days, I have perhaps 20 versions of Toni, from the compact, economy 14″ size, to the super-size luxury 24″ model. I have her with red, blond, auburn, brown, and dark brown hair. She is still plastic after all these years … and is still all about her hair.