Did you play with paper dolls when you were a kid? I loved playing paper dolls but we couldn’t always afford to get the store-bought ones.
My Aunt Mary Clay, who lived with Grandma and Grandpa Thomasson, got the Sears and Montgomery Ward catalogs and those puppies were huge and had a gazillion pictures in them. Sometimes I would spend the weekend at Grandma’s house and my cousin Angelyn, who lived just up the hill, would come down to play.
Aunt Mary Clay kept the catalogs in the hall closet so we would sit down in the hallway and get both catalogs out. We would go to Grandma’s sewing box and get scissors which we were gonna need. We usually picked which catalog had the best people and then started going through and cutting out the people we wanted as our paper dolls. We would pick out whole families like the father, mother and a couple of kids.
We not only picked out the best looking people, we also picked out beds, living room furniture and kitchen furniture. I’m sure we named all these people but I don’t remember any of them.
We would sit there for hours playing with our paper dolls. I mean, they talked; their kids would cry and they would go to bed for the night. We would finally get tired of playing paper dolls and find something else to do. But, we always cleaned up our mess; otherwise, we wouldn’t be allowed to play in the catalogs any more.
Another magazine that Aunt Mary Clay got was the McCall’s magazine. You may not remember this, but each month McCall’s would have the Betsy McCall paper dolls inside. So, one month Angelyn would get them and the next time would be my turn. Now these were real paper dolls and had clothes and shoes and all kinds of accessories. You had to be real careful cutting them out because they had little tabs to be used to put the clothes on the doll. If you cut the tabs off, the clothes wouldn’t stay on them. There were lots of times that I would make a miswhack and cut a tab off and my doll’s clothes would hanging lopsided.
Aunt Mary Clay gave each one of us a shoebox so we could keep our paper dolls separated. And, I can tell ya, those boxes were filled to the rim. Eventually, we would have to clean out some of them because when a new catalog came in, we jumped right in there cutting. I don’t know how Aunt Mary Clay ever ordered anything from her catalogs.
One Christmas, Aunt Mary Clay surprised Angelyn, Cheryl and me with Betsy McCall dolls. Yep, they were actual dolls and they came with extra clothes.
Aunt May Clay was always playing with us kids or giving us something special. And you know something, she was a very special lady.
See ya next Wednesday.