Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Wednesday Wishes

Previously I asked, “What do you wish you had but no longer do?” It may came as a surprise to you when I said if what you wish you had but lost is to, “start over!” The item you wished you kept may be found in many places, starting with antique stores, second-hand shops, yard sales, estate sales, etc. Did you go to any of them? Did you find what you were looking for? I hope so. Now, what is the one or more things I had wish I saved but didn’t? In yesterday’s post I mentioned fashion magazines. Then I visited, Whiting’s Old Paper in Mechanicsville, VA. His website is:
How thrilled I was when I found some great fashion issues. There is an excellent article titled, “Paper Trail – In a digital age, John Whiting buys and sells a fading past” and can be read at 
So check this out to read about not only paper preservation but the preservation of your memories that perhaps got a start by some picture or article you read in a magazine that inspired you, encouraged you, and helped you make some of your wishes come true.
Back to Wednesday Wishes. My daughter Tiffeni always loved paper dolls. She, too, had a quest to replace some of her beloved paper dolls that she lost and by doing online research found this site: I  didn’t even know that such a group existed. So Tiffeni and I went to the Four Points Sheraton in Richmond to attend a Paper Doll Convention.
We couldn’t believe our eyes! Table and tables of paper dolls, books on paper dolls, workshops and special exhibits were held in two large rooms of the hotel. Though I was not looking for any paper doll, for I already had in my museum a reproduction of the paper dolls I played most with; The Lennon Sisters. I was raised watching The Lawrence Welk show and watched and listened to these sisters sing, what they wore, how they acted. I played with these paper dolls and couldn’t wait until the next new book came out. When I was younger I played with Betsy McCall. At first my mother cut them out for me and later as I got use to handling a small scissor, I cut them out myself and even glued them to cardboard so I could make them stand up. Little did I know that some 20 years later, my daughter would not only be playing with Betsey but preserving her as well.

As Tiffeni perused the tables, I meandered through the aisles of tables, talking with the vendors and getting impressed by the minute on how passionate they were about these paper creations. From famous movie stars, to high fashion designers, and a plethora of dolls for children of all ages. Even the familiar scent of old paper waffled through the room was enchanting. When I found a Bobbsey Twin Paper Doll book, I asked the dealer if he knew the names of the twins because that question is always asked in crossword puzzles. He laughed and said he didn’t know. A few tables away, I asked that same question and the lady laughed and said she had heard that someone was asking that question – boy, did that travel fast – and when I told her it was me, she said she didn’t know either but would look it up on her iPhone. Just then a fine gentlemen approached the table and she asked him and he said of course he knew. Their names were Bert & Nan. WOW! I finally knew and wrote it down so next time it is ask on a crossword, I will have the answer. My goodness, the things you learn at a paper doll convention!  
When Tiffeni caught up to me, she had a pile of books and a big smile on her face. “Look Mom! I found them! Lettie Lane, Dolly Dingle and her favorite, The Grahams.” I was so happy that she found these dolls she had lost years ago and though they will not be played with, they will reside on her side of the family museum, and she feels fortunate that her wishes were granted.
Paper Dolls have been played with for generations, creating many hours of imaginative play for both boys and girls. Why don’t kids play with them today? A few years back, Tiffeni and I had a small toy store. The recession of 2008 forced us to close, but we have fond memories and made many friends the years we were opened. One of the toys we offered were paper dolls. One day I watched a little girl take a book off the shelf, sit down and look through the pages. She seemed perplexed, so I asked her if she had any questions. “Yes. What are these?” This particular paper doll was of a ballerina with beautiful costumes from famous ballets. After I explained it to her, she pointed to the tabs and asked what were they for? I told her when you cut out the dress you keep the tabs attached and use them to secure the dress onto the doll. Then she asked, “How do you play with them?” I could sadly see that she was never introduced to this wonderful art and play and my thought was confirmed when her mother boldly told her to put it away. She didn’t need a paper doll. Sure, that could be true, but how much is she missing by not trying out her imagination and even sadder - her mom missed so much by not getting the doll for her and opening a new world of imagination.  
 My Wednesday Wish is to bring back the paper doll.  
Check out this website for more information on paper doll conventions.

Next Post: Thursday Toys


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