Monday, August 29, 2011

The Early Years

These are my parents. My mother was a child of 13 when My daddy first met her. He was a man of 25. That is unthinkable in this day and age, but in 1937 , it wasn't. They married 3 years later when my Mom was 16 and my Dad was 28. I have read some of his love letters to her that my sister retains and it is obvious that he fell pretty hard for her. They were married in a double Ceremony with my Daddys brother Robert and Josephine Andrews on June 22, 1940. My mom had just turned 16.
My mothers name was Blanch Beatrice Morris and my Dad was Elmore Lee Peacock. You can tell by the past tense that they are both gone. Mom died in 1978 and Daddy followed her in 1986 due to an automobile accident. It was hard growing up with them as my parents until my Daddy stopped drinking when I was a teenager, then he became the best Daddy anyone could ever want and I am really thankful for that. They had 6 children together.

I believe that this picture was taken the day they married. My Father is on the right with Robert in the Center and my Uncle Hardy on the left.

This picture is the youngest one that I have of myself and I was about two. You can see that I was barefooted and the picture was taken at church, probably Ebenezer Assembly of God in Jay. That is the church that Mama went to when I was very young. This was the age I was when my parents entered into a legal separation. They never divorced but they never lived together for any length of time after that.

This is me at 5 with my younger sister Donna Gail. She is almost 3. We were inseparable as children because we were all that each other had at night when we were afraid. We are in front of the house that my Daddy built in 1949. My sister inherited the family home when my father passed away and still lives there. I visited recently after having been away for many years and it was a deja vue moment for me:-)

I have studied the early years in my family for almost 30 years now and I have discovered many things about my family that I am proud of and some that I am not.

When I began my journey in 1982 , I just wanted to know who I am, and where do my people come from? I made my first visit to the National Archives and was immediately overwhelmed by all the reels of things that I had no clue about. I did not know anything about how to look up the names or find out where they lived in any given year, but there were kind people there that helped me take my first steps.

One of the first questions that I had to ponder was would I be able to live with what I might find? I always ask this same question of anyone that desires to look into their own past, as many secrets have been hidden or “swept under the rug” and genealogy exposes them to the air again in many cases.

Some possible things that may happen is that you could be kin to your own husband and not know it.

Your Grandmother could be born in a brothel and you may never know who your G Grandparents were. This was the scenario to the kind gentleman leading me around and showing me where to find things. He softly asked me “ are you sure you want to do this?” Well of course I am sure, but I had my first heartbreak that very day. He introduced me to the census and I sat down with excitement starting with my Grandfather and when I found him, I also found my Great Grandparents but they were living apart. As I dug deeper, I discovered that they were divorced. My Great Grandfather James Hardy died in 1912, the year my Daddy was born, so they had an official divorce before 1900.

I had tears in my eyes as I looked at the evidence before me. I guess I was shocked because I was divorced and I had hoped that I was an anomaly in my family besides my parents. But it was not to be. We had a generational legacy of divorce in our family but it went far deeper than that. I uncovered tall tales that had ounces of truth in them and I discovered where I came from.

Here are a couple of photos of my Dad's parents, my Grandparents. Grandpa was named Lucious LeeRoy Peacock and Grandma was named Lula Arritta Creamer, after her Aunt Arritta Gilmore, her Momma's sister. Daddy ended up naming most of my 5 brothers and sisters with some type of Lee in it to honor himself and his daddy. By the time they got to me, Gloria Ann Peacock, they had dispensed with that for which I am thankful. Someone told me that my brother LeeRoy wanted to name me Suzy and I wish they had let him because I have disliked the name Gloria all my life. Many people have called me Annie over the years and now most know me simply by Kimmee and I like that!

Grandpa Lucious and Grandma Lula Creamer Peacock
They had They had 7 children but one died at aged 2 of Fever according to my Aunt Mary Elma, daddys sister.

My Aunt Elma, daddy's sister told me that the day this picture was taken Grandpa was in pain with his gall bladder or kidney. She could not remember which but Grandma wanted a picture so she cajoled him into it. They both look to be in pain to me:-)
My Grandmother was a remarkable person and the one that I credit for helping me turn out in love instead of hate. I had a hard start in life but she always showed me love and it is true that if one person cares, it can make a huge difference in ones life.

Grandpa Lucious and Grandma Lula Creamer Peacock in front of the house that I remember as a child in Jay.

Grandma Lula and her sister Lizzie Creamer

This is the census from 1930. You can see my Grandparents and my dad listed. He is 18 as he was born in 1912.

This is a photo of My Mothers parents. Her parents were 2nd cousins and both named Morris. Her Dad was named Admiral Dewey and her Mom was named Ola. Everybody tells me that I look like her and I think I do too. They had 7 Children.

This is how I remember Granddaddy Morris

He used to come to the house a lot when I was a teenager. He never remarried after Grandma Ola died in 1954. She was only 51 and the story is that she starved to death feeding her children from her own plate. Food was scarce in those days and Grandpa could not keep any kind of job. It was hard to feed all those kids and I believe that is one reason my mother was married off so young.

This is the 1930 Census with my Maternal Grandparents and my Mom at age 5. She was born in 1924.

This is not meant to offend anyone as I am a Southerner born and bred myself, but they say that genealogy in the South is easier because there are few branches on the tree and that has proven to be correct in my family. Cousins married each other, nieces married their uncles, and all in all it is a confusing line from the Morris and the McCurdys on both sides.

My Great Grandparents on Mamas side were both Morris' that married McCurdy's..

The line looks like this so as not to get any more confused than you are going too:-)

Myself Gloria Ann Peacock

Elmore Lee Peacock

Paternal Grandparents
Lucious LeeRoy and Lula Arritta Creamer Peacock

Paternal Great Grandparents
Lucious= James Hardy and Amanda Diamond Peacock

Lula= Josiah Blackman and Mary Jane Gilmore Creamer

2nd Great Grandparents
James Hardy=Levi Jr.and Mary Elizabeth Johnson Bell Peacock

Amanda = Robert and Harriet Ray Dimond, Diamond

2nd Great Grandparents
Josiah B. Creamer= Michael and Mary "Polly" Odom Creamer

Mary Jane Gilmore= William and Caroline Finklea Gilmore

3rd Paternal Great Grandparents
Levi Jr.= Reverend Levi Senior and Jemima Pearson Peacock(Quaker)

Myself Gloria Ann Peacock

Blanch Beatrice Morris

Maternal Grandparents
Admiral Dewey and Ola Morris

Great Grandparents for Admiral
William Dave and Elizabeth McCurdy

Great Grandparents for Ola Morris
Irvin(Ervin) and Charlotte McCurdy

2nd Great Grandparents
William Dave= William "Bud" and Matilda Jane Spears Morris Said to be Indian

Elizabeth and Charlotte McCurdy= George Washington and Mary Jane Carnley McCurdy

Irvin = Burril-Burrel and Rosannah Carnley Morris (sister to Mary Jane Carnley)

Matilda Jane Spears. Unknown. According to Aunt Elma, Matilda is an Indian and her parents were killed by white on Mims Island and the rest of her family integrated with the white settlers to save themselves.

The reader is beginning to get the idea of how intertwined the lines are now. Elizabeth and Charlotte are sisters and their parents, my 2nd Great Grandparents were George Washington and Mary Jane Carnley McCurdy. GW served in the Civil War and was wounded. He was an invalid after that and died in 1879 having never recovered from his wounds.

Irvin and William Dave are Uncle and nephew adding further confusion.

This is a picture of Great Grandfather Irvin Washington Morris

Great Grandma Charlotte "Lottie" McCurdy She had 16 children, 13 of them lived. Story is that she was 12 when she got married and since she had her first child at 13 or 14 this is entirely possible.

I don't have any photographs of George Washington or Mary Jane Carnley McCurdy

I do have a picture of George Washington McCurdys father. His name was Elijah McCurdy and he married Barsheba Sunday. She was only 13 when he married her and he was her Guardian. He was in his 30's at the time. There are scandals on this side of the family right and left but I won't go into all of them at this time. So that the reader does not think that it is my Mothers side that had all the scandal, entire books have been written about the Peacock line of scallywags on my Fathers side:-)

My Maternal 3rd Great Grandfather Elijah McCurdy..This photo belongs to Leamanda Barnes, a cousin of mine.

The one thing that I have found on this journey is that if there are family secrets, they will be uncovered and you might not always like what you find, but find it I must so I journeyed on.

Elijah's parents are unknown and many are researching it at this time to find out how we can connect this line to Scotland and to King Robert The Bruce of Scotland. It surely goes back to there as the names all coincide with familial names from the 5 McCurdy brothers that came to this Country from Ireland in the mid 1700's. It is just a matter of narrowing them down and gathering the evidence to support it. You can say all kinds of things in genealogy but if you do not have the evidence to back it up, it is hearsay.

To be continued... Love to all, Kimmee

You can read about the Peacocks here:

And The McCurdy /Morris connection here:

The Doll Enthusiast Part Three

I still remember her telling me how much her hand shook when she wrote a check for 1500 dollars for a doll. She wasn't just any doll. She was a very large 1159 lady and worth every penny and more, but how far we had come from that 50 dollar check to this. I was always so proud of how she loved and cared for all the wonderful things in her home and she was proud of how I loved and cared for the things in my home. In springtime when I would change things up in my large doll room, I would always call her to come spend a few moments with me and we would discover new things in my collection. It is amazing how just moving a doll from one spot to another, adding different accessories will sometimes make you feel as if you have a whole new doll:-)

We spent a lot of our free time in education and sharing of this thing we both loved. I still remember the first time Irene called and said that the St. Lawrence Historical Society would like for us to do a “talk” on dolls. We were both busy in our work lives but when an opportunity came to share our passion, we would jump at that chance.

I had done several “shows” for the children in my daughters and sons school over the years. One of them in particular was a huge hit. It consisted of old timey(sic) toys. I had a large collection and took in marbles that I had dug up from my garden, dominoes, checkers, a toy piano, Bugs Bunny Jack in the box, pinball games, a top that is no longer available for play as it has a nail on the end for spinning, a yo-yo, Hula Hoop, and many that I played with as a poor kid growing up in the South. One was to take a large button and put string through two of the holes in the center. You make the string long enough that you can turn it over and over in your hand, winding the string up. When the string is wound tight, you gently pull the string away from the center of your body and you have a twirling thingamagig(sic) that is good for hours of play. The other one that they were fascinated with, was a plain piece of string about 30 inches long and you tie the ends together to make a circle. You take that string and with a series of movements you can make a cup and saucer, a crows foot, and Jacobs Ladder if you are very good. Children of the video game age still loved the hands on toys of yesteryear, I discovered and I loved sharing what it was like to grow up as a child of the 50's . Many of them had never played hopscotch, or dodge ball, or tether ball and I was determined that the children of the 90's would recognize these games when they encountered them and that they would also carry the games on into other generations of their own children when they grew up:-)

We readied ourselves for our first sharing together.

We decided to take about 100 dolls and accessories of all kinds. I took Emily my 30 “ Jutta and Irene took her amazing parian and several cloth dolls of the 1900's such as Bruckners rag doll, some earlier photo faces, and we took our story dolls. I had my childhood Polly Ponds Beauty doll and told her story to misty eyes as I held her lovingly in my arms. I overheard someone say “look how gently she cradles her in her arms” And I do cradle her. She is the only doll I ever received and the memory of the day I opened her box is still fresh in my mind.

Irene told of the Papier Mache and how when I came to visit, she was on the floor and shared with them her lovely mommy made outfits which were impeccable because women and children of that day learned to sew. She told them of the day she found her in the drawer. Her Uncle that she loved had died and left her his home because they were so close and there were several pieces of furniture left in the home. She had spent time cleaning up and cleaning out the things that she wanted to keep and this dresser was one of the things to keep. Her family had moved the dresser to its place and Irene was tired after a long day of work and moving, but her curiosity got the better of her and she opened the drawers just to see if anything was inside. The top drawer was empty and the second drawer was empty, BUT the third drawer had this wonderful doll in it with clothing and she held her in her arms like the treasure that she is. I wish all of you could see this lovely dark haired 24 or 26 inch doll as I am seeing her now surrounded by her calico printed day dresses that were probably flour sacks:-) She is so beautiful and I believe was an Omen of the dolls that would one day make their way to Irene's home.

 St .Lawrence Co. Historical Society Doll Sharing

St. Lawrence Co. Historical Society Sharing

The next display that I did alone was as a Resident of DePeyster. The present Historian Adelaide Steele called and said she had heard I had some dolls and would I come bring some of them to the round building in town to celebrate the 100th birthday of its being built, and of course I said Yes, I will come. I knew that I had Agnes' Doll in the box from the year 1896 which was the exact year that this unique round building had been built and along with her I brought at least 100 other dolls, clothing, toys, and things of that time period. As you will see from the pictures that I have shared. I never do anything half way and it was a huge amount of work with the labeling and carrying of things to share but it was a huge success. I stayed behind the fence I had erected to keep prying childrens hands away, and talked with everyone that came to visit. So that the young ones would have something to play with , I had brought some sturdy dolls and toys to share with them, so that they too could discover the thrill of holding something 40 or 50 years old. They loved the squeak dolls of Sun Rubber and Ruth Newton and I was glad that I remembered to bring something for them to play with. Little did I know that I would be asked to be Deputy Historian and then later when dear Adelaide passed to be the Historian but things happen for a reason, and I accepted and relished the opportunity to share my life, my collections, and my love of all things old with the generations that would visit my displays over the next few years.
 DePeyster Sharing 1996

The highlight of my years and the doll gatherings was no doubt the Winter Tea Party. My birthday is in February and Irene would plan this amazing tea party and invite the entire neighborhood to visit with the only criteria being ,to bring a doll or bear to share. She wanted it to be a personal treasure from you so that we could all hear “your” story and so that these stories could be kept alive.

I have to say that Irene outdid herself in these meetings. She brought out her best dishes with Kewpies on them, hung paper dolls up and down the doll cases, made areas of interest for people to discuss, opened her entire home to multitudes of people with the only thing in common being that we loved dolls. We set up the dolls that we had brought on a beautifully covered antique pool table, and I had a little area set off to the side in which I brought a few doll books and would value or Identify your dolls for you.

There were many stories that touched my heart so much that sometimes I cried when I heard them. Such as the 94 year old lady that had brought her childhood doll, a large Simon Halbig that her Daddy had bought her. They did not have much money, but he sacrificed to make sure that his beloved daughter had the largest doll in the store window.
Dads and Moms of all time have sacrificed to make their young ones happy and her parents were no exception. She had arranged for “ Tilde” short for Matilda to be donated to a local Museum after her passing as she wanted everyone to see her beloved doll everyday and remember that she was so loved by her owner.

We talked dolls, we sipped tea, we ate tiny snacks laid out on beautiful dishes and we shared our hearts, our love of dolls, and how they had changed our lives. The one prevailing theme was that our dolls or bears had made our lives better. They had brought people into our lives that remained with us as they had done for me and Irene. We would also share our story and it always seemed like such fate that we met as we did and that we lived where we did. The Doll Lady from California met the Doll lady from NY and our intertwined lives began.

I hope that all of you know me and my friend Irene a little better now, and just how much dolls have brought people joy and happiness since time began. Parents have always made toys for their children and dolls have been a prevailing theme through the ages..

It does not matter if a stone doll was made for a child or if a famine was happening and a cloth doll was made, or if the stock market crashed, or if WWI and WWII happened; children of all ages have wanted something to hold in their arms at night and parents everywhere have obliged.

I am thankful to Irene for not only sharing her dolls with me, but for shaping the 17 years that I lived in the North Country. She gave her time, often times bought dolls from me to help me out, took me to her family outings on the lake, traveled with me to meet other doll enthusiasts and she loved me as I loved her.

Thank you all for reading and the many beautiful comments that have been sent my way. I love dolls but as a friend of mine says, “ Dolls are nice but the friendships that you make along the way are the real treasure of doll collecting” and I agree whole heartedly...

Til next time.
Love to all, Kimmee

The Doll Enthusiast Part Two

We played for two hours that day and she told me she had never seen a collection like mine.

When I first became interested in antique dolls, I studied them up close and personal. It is best to train your eye and the only way to do that is study them. When you do this studying of faces, you start to see the subtle painting techniques, which one has good bisque- versus late bisque. Which ones have little imperfections on the face and what constitutes a character face versus a dolly face. Which body is supposed to go with which doll. Which manufacturers made complete dolls such as Kestner. If the eye cuts are strange on the doll, a nick to the eye may have been shaved off. I started sharing these techniques with Irene and she was fascinated with how much I had studied before I started looking for an antique doll and she was like a sponge wanting to know everything I knew so I began to talk.

We set a date for the next week for me to come and see her collection which she said was nothing like mine. What an understatement. Yes my collection had more bisque dolls in it with characters etc, but HER collection was amazing.
I drove over to her home on a wintry day and arrived at a white farm house set in the midst of tall oak trees. It was like something out of Currier and Ives and she welcomed me into her home. It was filled with many treasures and my eyes flitted from one corner to another as if I had just entered a Museum. I was enchanted with her decorating ideas as everything was old and I always feel better when I am around old things and not just because I am older myself. Old things just seem to be better quality. There is always good wood used on the furniture and my eyes took in the oak dressers, Cherry bookcases, ebony floor units that came from a shop, and all the other beautiful pieces of furniture. All of her rooms were displayed with antique paintings (fantastic), books, duck decoys, and of course my main objective dolls. We started with the downstairs to see the dolls. There was a main foyer with 2 rooms, and case after case of Vintage dolls that would knock your socks off. Original Shirley Temples in all sizes, Judy Garland, R&B's, a paper doll collection that was bar none, & hard plastics original and beautiful. I saw Toni, Ginny's of every kind including a rare Nurse display behind glass, Little Miss Revlon, and on and on more than the eyes can take in for one meeting. It took many visits to her home to really see all that she had and she was kind to let me poke around, look at anything I wanted, and ask questions.

Irene has an incredible mind for details and remembers the stories of her dolls with great accuracy. She was one of those special caretakers that loved and kept the stories of her dolls with them. She documented all purchases, cost, who and how they came to be in her collection and any family references to them in little books that she kept. It was fun just to read those books!

Nothing was off limits in her home, and I was dazzled by her bedroom collection of Quilts, and the bathroom which was a marvel in itself with the claw foot tub and other things of the 20th Century.. We went downstairs to the Game room where the old Dentist chair and jukebox garnered my attention, then back up to the Main floor to see her Chalk ware collection of children and animals.
We moseyed upstairs to see her Schoenhut pianos, her bride doll collection and then I asked if she had dolls that were older and she said a few.
Then I saw sitting on the floor a stunning Pre Grenier. We talked about the doll and she told me of it being in the chest dresser drawer in the home, which is a family home, and how it had 4 outfits with it. I cautioned against leaving it on the floor and in the light of the room and she listened to everything I had to say especially when I told her the worth of this beautiful large doll.
The next time I visited, she had her own case with her 4 outfits displayed around her like the Queen she was!

She showed me a small case of antique dolls that included Wax Over Twins in their carriage, a couple of dolly faced bisque of good quality, and some small all bisque that made me smile. She also shared with me that she had never written a check for more than 50 dollars and I smiled and told her that she would in time:-)

She had such an interest in learning and I am one wordy doll history teacher when given the opportunity so we began to share and I continued to share with her for the next ten years as she built one of the finest antique collections I had ever seen.

She learned to search for those sleepers and find them she did. Her husband supported her collecting and expressed that he would rather she spend more money on a good doll than buy 5 mediocre ones. He was great, and listened and learned also. They took me along on excursions for dolls and learned which ones were the buy or which ones should be left. I kept expanding the knowledge and one show that we were at had a Hawkins doll available. Neither of them had ever heard of it, but they valued my friendship and opinion and the doll became her along with 4 Door Of Hopes and various other dolls that day.
When we would enter a doll sale, we would go in opposite directions to find the doll deal of the day and report back. One time she found Handwerck Twins, and I found a painted eye character. We did this so that both of us would not see the same doll and both want it at the same time. This gave us an opportunity to find a steal of a deal and then share with each other our finds.

We met up with some Internet friends and visited Doll Museums, visited private collections in Canada that made me gasp and we shared our lives with each other.

Life was just better because she was in it.

I continued to buy dolls and one day I had ordered a set of paper dolls from the Collected United with very little descriptions but they were from my birth year of 1953 and that was good enough for me. When they arrived , I examined them as I always do and the handwritten names on the back made me choke on my laughter. I called my doll buddy and said do you have a few to come over and see something that just arrived and like any good doll buddy, she said I will make time.
I took her up to my small doll room where I kept the vintage collection and she and I sat on the floor in front of the antique sofa as I showed her the ballerina paper dolls I had just received. She said these are very nice and then she turned them over.. On the back of one was the name Gloria and on the back of the other one was the name Irene!!!

Simpatico, she and I.

The next 30 minutes was spent changing and playing paper dolls just like the two little girls did when they received them in the 50's. We would exchange knowing glances at each other as we played and for 30 minutes our 2nd childhood came full circle. The world was outside, and we were inside playing and dreaming and recognizing how special our relationship was.

 To be Continued.. Kimmee
Sweet Rosemary

Lovable Louise

Judy Garland Paper Dolls

Victorian Girl Paper Doll

Victorian Girl's Germany Doll

Ballerina Paper Doll

The Doll Enthusiast Part One

We are not related by blood but we walk a same path as surely as you are reading these words.
She and I “met” each other when I had just moved from California to Upstate NY in 1989. I had owned a home there for a few years prior to moving and now a divorce and new romance led me to my refuge in the secluded hamlet of DePeyster. The next 17 years were filled with many adventures, not all of them good. My new romance turned out to be “jumping from the pan into the fire” but I met someone there that made it possible for me to survive and her name was Irene.

I became a part of her family. I loved her children, I loved her husband, I loved her parents and sibling, and I loved her dolls.

I had just moved to the North Country and almost immediately started scouring the local antique and flea markets for my passion, which was dolls. I had a few hundred of them but was hoping to open a Museum in my big old farm house, and never knew that I opened something much bigger than a Museum, when I met Irene.

The local little Flea Market in De Kalb had a charming array of vendors that offered a smorgasbord of items for sale. I bought little things that first day and got to know the owners. I always like to get to know who I am going to be doing business with because when I buy dolls, I like to “like” the owners of those dolls. I know , it's probably weird but I love sweet spirited dolls. I am very empathetic and although these are inanimate objects to many, they are not that to me. I feel deeply. I care deeply, and I want things that live in my home to make me feel good about them being there.

On this wintry day with 6 feet of snow on the ground, I was inside cupping my cold hands around a strong cup of coffee and then I saw him. A Uneeda Biscuit Kid. He was off in the far corner and I scurried over there almost spilling my coffee to get him before anyone else saw him. Of course there were few people there but I did not want to chance missing him. He does not come up often for sale in good shape and this one was really nice. I picked him up, tucked him securely under my arm and a few minutes later noted the price tag of 55 dollars firm. That price tag is the only thing that kept him there for me. For what I did not know is that this was Irene's stomping ground and she got first choice of all dolls that came in But she NEVER paid more than 50 dollars for them:-) So that was why he was still sitting there awaiting ME!

I could see a man watching me as I roamed around the store and I saw at one point that he had a wife with him but neither approached me and I smiled and kept looking around. I was told that the conversation went something like this when I got to know them later.

She: She is carrying a doll!

He: Go over and say Hi

She: Awww she probably lives up in Canada or something. Everyone I meet that loves dolls live everywhere else but here.

He: well she is carrying a doll and I am going to go over and say Hi..

And he did. He introduced himself and Irene sauntered over. She did not want to be disrespectful because she knew that as a collector herself, when she was looking, She was looking, and she wanted uninterrupted time to LOOK.

I was happy to meet another collector. We exchanged small talk about our dolls. I told her I had a few hundred dolls of all materials, and invited her to come see them. She said she had a “few” (what an understatement that was) and then we got down to business. She hesitantly asked where I lived. I said DePeyster and she asked me to repeat it, not believing her good fortune because she lived in Heuvelton, only 5 miles away. Just a hop, skip, and a jump and I was at her home or she was at mine. Eureka we had finally found someone to share our love with that was nearby. I should tell you that I had only been in DePeyster a few weeks so it was very serendipitous to meet her so soon.

We were both so excited and so was her husband and we set a date for the following Thursday for her to come to my home. When you are talking dolls, you never know what type they will be. There could be 500 of those porcelain ones you see on home shopping networks, or there could be 500 Antique Bisque, Wax, and Papier Mache. I had the latter but I did not know what her collection entailed.

I gussied the house up and readied the dolls for viewing in the downstairs formal dining room with French Doors, and walked outside the doors and announced to the dolls that they looked ready and I better hurry, because a doll friend was coming to visit.

I hurriedly dressed and just as I finished I heard her Van coming up on the snow in the driveway. I rushed to the front door like a little kid hearing the Ice Cream truck, and there she was, carrying a Box. She had brought something to share!!!

I invited her in, offered her tea or dolls. She giggled and said Dolls.. We went into my doll room and I watched her face as she took in my collection. I could see the emotions on her face. The delight at my large ABG sitting at her dressing table with all her little accoutrement, the tiny all bisque darlings with tea parties, stores of merchandise, and the Uneeda Biscuit Kid sitting in his new place. She said Ohh, and ran to get her box and handed it to me. Inside was the Antique cardboard Uneeda Biscuit Kid Box of crackers to go with the doll. I thought she was just sharing with me, but she gave it to me. I was overwhelmed with this gift and teared up a bit and we hugged,like long lost sisters or kin. We were “Doll Buddies” in that moment. Simpatico and although I felt it at the time, I did not know at the time, that we would be tied to the hip from that moment forward.

 To be Continued.. Kimmee

The Dolls as she saw them that day!

From My Book "The Ripples In The Lake" .. Crazy Betty (Mild Language)

My sister sometimes managed to get me in trouble at the theater. She was almost 3 years younger, and would always tell any bully, that you better leave me alone, or I will tell my big sister. The big sister, being me. One time, in particular, she was sitting down front in the theater, and a big tall girl was kicking the back of her seat. She was getting really angry and told her to stop, repeatedly, but she would not. In her frustration she said, "I am going to tell my big sister on you." The big chick said, "Tell her to meet me outside, and I will kick her ass." My sister just smiled because she knew that I was as tough as nails, having been beaten on a regular basis, and suffering beatings at the hands of my brothers too.
My sister came and told me about it and I walked outside without fear. When I saw the girl across the street, she had 6 of her cohorts with her, all of them ready to hurt me. I said, “you need all these behind you to kick my ass?" 

I really had no fear at all, and she saw it. I said, “which one of you wants to get your ass kicked first?" And then I saw her look over my shoulder at something. I stepped back, and turned to look myself fearing a trick, but then just turned back and smiled.
Coming across the street was "Crazy Betty". She was a friend of mine, if you could call her that. She was older, street wise, mad at the world, and because I was kind to her, she had my back that night. She had a beer bottle in her hand, although she was only about 17. She proceeded to break it in half on the sidewalk, and then came across the street to where I was. I just stepped back, because I knew she would have no compunction in taking a life. The lead big girl saw her walk across the street, and I could almost smell her fear. Betty had quite a reputation and no one wanted to tangle with her, not even 6 girls on a Saturday night. The big girl turned around to tell her friends to back her up, and in that moment realized that she was standing there alone. I had a "shit eating “grin on my face, and Betty and I smiled at one another, as she asked me. “Got some trouble here, Glorann?" I told the girl that she and I would have a go at it, and I asked Betty to step aside, which she did. By this time the big girl had lost all her penchant for fighting, and she turned and ran. You might think that was cowardice, but it was actually a smart move. Betty may have killed her, if she had laid a hand on me.

Life is funny, in that you don't always know that how you treat someone will come back to roost. That night, the way I treated Betty came home to roost. She threw down her bottle, and walked away into the night, a sad alone creature, until the next time she was needed to defend someone’s honor. I saw her years later during one of my visits home, and she was still on the streets, never having known anything but hard times, and it sure showed on her face.
Growing up on Saturday night at a movie theater is a unique experience. We were given a dollar and that was a fortune for that day and time. It cost 25 cents to get into the movies and candy, popcorn and soda were a nickel. We could eat all night for that price. I actually would pay for someone else to get in, if they did not have the money and my sister and I would eat less that night. That is how Crazy Betty and I knew each other. I had done that for her and bought her a candy bar one night. She took kindnesses very serious, as her life was filled with hardship. Mine was too, but I had my sister, and we were kind and supportive of each other most of the time.

Rain On Me

This lesson came to me a long time ago, but I was thinking of it this early morning. I have shared some of my personal book with others and wanted to talk about why I called it "The Ripples In The Lake". I started writing this book over 25 years ago and it did not have a title until the entry below happened. I knew in that moment that was what the book was about, becoming who I am today. I want to be that ripple in the world and I hope that all of you do too!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008
Hi all,
I was going to journal this and decided I wanted all to share what nature taught me today.. I normally have my walk , but something this morning led me to the lake,.. I am watching it dry up with the current drought in Florida and my heart is heavy... But the Blue Heron was there, so majestic, feeding in the water with a perfect reflection of him/her in the sun on the water.. It took my breath away in its perfection....Then as if by magic soft little sprinkles began to fall on the lake and as I watched the ripples , my heart filled with tears and I cried for the promise that this gave me..

The Blue Heron with its perfect reflection is the hope for all of us that one day we will find another , that mirror reflection of love and faith..

Ahhhh but the rain.........The sprinkles falling gently with hundreds of ripples coming out from each drop.. That is each of us. with one kind word or one shared experience, that will create a ripple effect felt by many.. the power we all have to do good and spread good is in each of us.. We make a choice every day to be positive or negative.. I make a conscious choice every day in every way to be positive and it comes back to me ten fold.......

My challenge today is for each of us to be a ripple.. Change someones life today with a positive attitude, a smile , and power in your walk.. Let them know that you are walking in the light and that the sun keeps your heart warm and open... .. Love to all, Kimmee

Friday, August 19, 2011

The Wonderful Dolls Of ABG

Hi all,
I was thrilled when asked to talk about ABG dolls as that is my very favorite maker of German dolls. The fact that these dolls are so good may have something to do with the fact that Carl Halbig used to work for this firm, before he started his own factory with Willhelm Simon that became S&H dolls.. Both factories were located close to each other.
Simon and Halbig had their firm in Grafenhain and ABG had their firm in Nauendorf, a hop, skip , and a jump away from each other. It is not surprising that they both produced dolls of high quality.
The ABG firm was actually a factory producing firm in 1854, but doll heads were not mentioned according to the Ciesliks until 1882, and were in business by some accounts until 1953.. The numbers of the dolls start with 222 (Ciesliks) but a doll has not been found with this number and they continue into the 1400's.. The most commonly found closed mouth dolls are 639 and 698 which are on kid or cloth bodies and the 1000, which is a painted or glass eyed parian. They made china , bisque, and parian dolls in their factories, as well as dolls for many other well known companies. They made the famous
Bonnie Babe and the Bye Lo baby along with Kestner for export by the George Borgfeldt Company in NYC. Borgfeldt was only a Verlinger, not a producer of dolls.. He helped get the dolls from Germany to the US for the greedy doll market here..

My interest in ABG dolls came in 1982. She caught my eye along with other dolls in the cabinet when I was frequenting an antique shop in Ca. I knew nothing about antique dolls but had a general knowledge of antiques and knew that she was old.... There were many dolls lying on their backs on the shelf and I was drawn to her because of her stunning outfit. The card attached said AM Doll which I knew nothing about.... I just had to have her and examined her as best I could and took her home.. Then the fun began. I did not know what she was other than the card that said AM but she had numbers on the back of her shoulder plate and I went to the local library and borrowed a book...there I found that she was not an AM but that she may be what was known as a Cross hatch child by a company named Alt Beck and Gottschalck from Germany. She was certainly a lovely doll with pale bisque and such a beautiful outfit. I studied for years and found out a lot about these dolls which have become a favorite of mine to collect.....She was made in 1893 according to the Cieslik’s book and still is a favorite in my collection. She is 26 inches tall so makes for quite the presentation with her accouterments that I have added for her....Her name is Samantha and she surveys all my dolls as the Queen in my collection.....

My daughter loves an ABG 1235 and claimed it as her own at 4 years of age. She is now 27 and still loves Miranda

One of the most famous dolls from this company is the Blue Scarf. This was a doll that I looked for over 20 years and one finally made it's way into my collection.
The Blue Scarf doll was thought to be named after Louisa of Prussia. Louisa was born in 1780 and married Frederick William, Crown Prince of Prussia when she was 17 years old....She had eight children and died when she was 40 years old.... Portraits of her show a scarf draped around her neck. It is theorized that she had a bad goiter, hence the use of the scarf to disguise this fact. She was the best known and loved Queen that Prussia ever had and there are many stories of her kindness... The one I like best was that she was visiting a small town and the children gathered to present her with flowers. She remarked that they were all such beautiful little girls. One little girl spoke up and said that only the pretty little children were chosen to greet her... The Queen sent for the poor little discards and made each of them a gift....that is why she was so loved. She loved all people.

This doll was reproduced by Emma Clear , Humpty Dumpty Doll Hospital in California and I have one to share with all of you here so that you can compare the two faces.

ABG marked their dolls with a mark sometimes called a crosshatch and they were called this in 1968 when the Coleman's Encyclopedia came out as they were not positively identified as ABG products.. It was not until the Ciesliks found a registration for a doll number for ABG that these dolls and others started to be identified as ABG dolls. The closed mouth dolls are marked with a number such as 698 and a crosshatch. the open mouth dolls were marked with the number and then a 1/2 to delineate an open mouth version of the earlier
marked doll.. I have several of the open mouth dolls in my collection beginning with the earliest one which is 1235 1/2 . this is my middle daughters favorite doll and she is shown with her when she was 4 years old..

My favorite doll is marked 1278 no.9 Dep which just means that she was made after 1891 and when the laws were changed that all entries into the country had to be Identified as to country of origin. The Ciesliks have her number as being registered in 1892 but this is the only doll I or anyone that I have ever talked to has seen with this number.. I bought mine from the original owners son after she had died, in a doll shop in ca. Before I got there, the shop owner had taken her wig off, her original dress was torn apart to make a pattern for a new dress and she was given a new wig.. I retain the old dress and have put it back together to display with her when I have her out.

In this photo, you can see her vibrant Cobalt blue eyes.

Here are some marks that you might see on the earlier ABG dolls...
The later marks shown such as the ABG intertwined is seen on the dolls marked with 1362 and known as "Sweet Nell". All of the pictures below are taken from the "German Doll Encyclopedia 1800-1939 by Jurgen and Marianne Cieslik".

Here are some of the dolls made by ABG and in the Cieslik German Encyclopedia.

Here is my example of an ABG parian or untinted bisque doll. She is no longer in my collection but went back to the lady that I purchased her from when my health became an issue for me. She is one of the more scarcely found mold numbers for this company.

Here is my example of a Sweet Nell Doll that I obtained from an original owners Niece.. I traded jewelry for 10 dolls from this lady in Canada and this doll was one of the ones that I call my "Jewelry dolls"..LOL.. I have a picture of the owner with her doll that is displayed with her.

To the right of the above picture you can see an early closed mouth 639.. She was so beautiful when I received her , but her body was tearing apart and her eyes were cracked into several pieces.. I returned her home and have never found another that makes me sigh like she does.

In this photo, you can see how the doll shop owner had redressed my favorite doll in blue , Victoria and you can see some of her original dress hanging on the wall behind her.

Here is my 1322 character boy.. He has such a different look than the other characters from this company.. I just love his pudgy cheeks and toddler body..

I hope that all have enjoyed learning a little about my favorite company and will share any or all ABG dolls that you may have in your collection and I would be happy to try and answer any questions... Kimmee