Granny and Dolls

doll laying on footstool

For the past year it seems we’ve been in a constant battle with all the stuff in our basement. Chitter’s ever burgeoning jewelry business has her needing more and more room for supplies and equipment.

During our last big clean the girls and I went through all their old keepsakes to see if they still wanted it all. We found several dolls, which they truly never cared for. Chitter and Chatter always chose stuffed animals over baby dolls.

They’d kept the dolls because Granny gifted them over the years. We all decided a good thing to do with the dolls was to take them to Granny’s so her great granddaughter could play with them when she visited.

A week or so later when I stopped to see Granny after work I noticed one of the dolls laying in front of her chair. I said “Oh did little sweetie play with it when she was here over the weekend?” Granny said no she wasn’t interested in it.

Granny got quiet for a minute or two then she said “You know when I first seen those dolls, there was three of them, and I wondered how in the world I’d come up with the money to buy them for the girls.” (Granny always bought Chitter, Chatter, and my niece the same things.)

She went on reminiscing “I wanted those dolls for the girls so bad. I remember I finally made a quilt and they bought it for Robbie (my sister-n-law’s sister who was an invalid). I spent every dollar of that quilt money on those three dolls, it was just enough to pay for them and I was so happy.”

I could tell Granny was still pretty happy over those three dolls, even though the two at my house never really got played with much, and even though the three girls she bought them for are now young women trying to make their way in the world.


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  • Reply
    aw griff
    January 28, 2020 at 9:54 pm

    I know I’m late but took care of my Mother all day. After reading some of the comments I thought of a true story my Mamaw Lewis told of her homemade doll. Mamaw’s mother became disabled when Mamaw was only 9 years old. She had to take over all the work of cooking, scrubbing clothes, and ironing for the whole family plus working on the farm. When she would have alittle free time she would play with her doll. That was one of the few little girl things she got to do.
    Mamaw was a wonderful Christian woman and if you left her house hungry it was your fault. I still miss her.

  • Reply
    January 28, 2020 at 4:44 pm

    I never played with dolls. I had 3 brothers, so i turn out to be a tomboy. I played with cars under our porch. So much fun, making roads from the dirt. Bless her heart.

  • Reply
    Ken Roper
    January 28, 2020 at 1:01 pm

    Growing up among 5 boys and no girls made it hard to play with dolls, we had dogs. The first and best dog I remember, when I was just a little thing, was ole Copper. You could reach down and pick him up, point at a Rabbit, and he would sight down your arm and see that booger and just a few minutes you’d have that Sucker.

    In about 1951 or ’52, Daddy moved us to Trim Cove. He got us a Female Fiest. We named her Cricket, and she had two pups named Jack and Bob. Jack was Harold’s and Bob was mine. Copper was Daddy’s dog, and when Copper died at 21, Jack and Bob wouldn’t let Me and Harold bury him. Just as fast as we would lay ole Copper in the hole we dug, Jack or Bob would pull him back out and lay on top of him. Talk about Love for a Daddy! …Ken

  • Reply
    January 28, 2020 at 10:55 am

    Yes, my granddaughter never really cared for dolls. I think they quit being interested about the time the extremely frilly dresses were thrown aside for shorts and a tank top. It is hard for a girl sometimes to be interested in a doll when they can hunt turtles in the creek. I loved dolls, and never really wanted to mess with turtles or bugs until I got old enough to have my own garden. I loved Granny’s story, and that was quite a sacrifice to make certain they received a doll. I am still trying to figure out what to do with a dirty Shirley Temple doll, and a Princess Di that smells like cedar. The decluttering goes on, but then I just purchased a flour sifter. I seemed to have lived a busy life for many years while the basement and attic accumulated everything, even unsolicited items from my family.

  • Reply
    Dan O’Connor
    January 28, 2020 at 10:37 am

    A lot of things in life are like that. We all have joys and disappointments, the hope is we keep it in perspective and the sum of all those times taken together leave us happy and content

  • Reply
    January 28, 2020 at 9:25 am

    My girls never cared much for their dolls either. Their cousin spent a lot of time at our house and would always bring her dolls to play with. I must have donated Drowsy and Chrissy when the girls showed no interest in them. They would be worth a small fortune if I had kept them.

  • Reply
    January 28, 2020 at 9:12 am

    They must have been the American Girls dolls. I remember I sewed and saved my sewing money to buy my girls the dolls. My oldest got hers one Christmas and my youngest got hers the next. They liked changing the clothes and I bought patterns and made clothes for them, and each Christmas until they got too old, I’d order one special outfit for each girl’s doll. My husband made the bunk bed for our youngest and I made the sheets, quilts, mattresses, and pillows. He made it out of metal and it was big enough so a doll could sit on the bottom bunk. He was a machinist at the time, and he painted the bed glossy black. My youngest gave her doll, the bed and the clothes to a friend’s daughter and it was her Christmas present. The little girl really wanted one of the dolls but it was beyond the family’s budget at the time, and it really made her Christmas. Our youngest can’t have children, so she wanted to pass hers along. Our oldest still has hers.

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    January 28, 2020 at 8:30 am

    That is a good story to get attached to the quilt.

    You make me wonder if just maybe girls playing with dolls is on its way to becoming a thing of the past generally. I could see where it might be for a lot of different reasons. Remember when boys had cap pistols ? And now that has gone by the boards almost completely.

    • Reply
      January 29, 2020 at 8:24 am

      My brother and I both had cap pistols. I liked my dolls, but I also liked toy trucks and cars too.

  • Reply
    Pamela Danner
    January 28, 2020 at 8:23 am

    Just the story alone of Granny making a quilt a selling it for money to purchase the dolls would be enough for me to want to keep them. You never know, if the girls have daughters one day they might love to play with them and hear Granny’s story.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    January 28, 2020 at 5:46 am

    You know I never thought about it but thinking back I never saw them play with dolls. They were so busy all the time but they were more outdoor girls than doll girls. I guess part of that is a change in values, from girls being supposed to grow up and have children to girls growing up to be independent in this world.

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