Allie on her favorite bench, sharing it with one of my Hildegard Gunzel dolls.  I used to be obsessed with Gunzel dolls twenty years ago.  Or maybe more.  I bought several, including a one-of-a-kind wax-over-porcelain doll.  My sister Michelle was also a doll collector.  We came to it organically, as my mother collected dolls from the time she was a child.  She kept them in a shed at her parents' house in New Mexico, and whenever we visited, which was only once every few years, the first thing we wanted to do was to go see the dolls.  It was so exciting!  The dolls were all carefully wrapped in newspaper or packing paper and we oohed and aahhed over each one as it was unpacked. When my mother passed away, her children inherited all her dolls, which for many years had graced a large department store display case in her living room that a couple of us had found at a going-out-of-business sale.  And her dolls filled up the entire case, and spilled over, as there were at least a hundred of them.

We haven't done anything with those dolls.  Most are still wrapped up and in boxes at my sister Sheila's house.  We've had multiple discussions of what to do with them all.  My mom had everything from Kewpie Dolls, Shirley Temple Dolls, Madam Alexander dolls, penny dolls (which are only about an inch tall), dolls from Japan, dolls from Holland, dolls handmade by my mother's grandmother, I could go on and on.  It's a someday project to go through and look at them all and decide which to keep and which to let go.  Some of them may be valuable, but...

Have you noticed? No one likes dolls anymore.  Kids think they're creepy.  When I was a child, I would have treasured the opportunity to have such a wonderful doll.  Heck.  I did when I was an adult!

Here's the sad part... When my sisters and I are gone, there will be no one to treasure those dolls.  My dolls, Michelle's dolls, my mother's dolls.  What happens to these wonderful things?  Will they be thrown away as if they never meant anything to anyone?

I think I have to wait for one of those Everything Old is New Again periods to cycle back around.  I can hope...


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