I don’t know why my mind has been “harking” back to the past so much these days. Last night my dreams were filled with my grandmother, my mother and my aunt Florence and uncle May. No, that’s not a misprint, his name was Arnold May Sellers and I believe it was a family name, he was called May. In my dream I could see them all and chatted with them as though I were eight- years-old again and in the center of their hearts. By the way, all these beloved people are no longer on this side of the veil.
Like I said, the past has been on my mind quite a bit lately and yesterday while chatting with Lee I asked her if she remembered the Betsy McCall paper dolls. She assured me that she remembered them well, having played with them at her grandmother’s house. I remember playing with my Betsy McCall on the floor of our apartment in Washington, D.C. I was about four at the time, and I know you find it hard to believe that I can remember these things, but I do. I remember my toy ambulance with working lights and sirens from that era, too. But Betsy was special. I had my little scissors (metal not plastic) and waited eagerly for my mother to finish the magazine so that I could acquire my “pasted to hard board,” Betsy, some lovely new clothes. Now, my mother sewed, she and all her sisters learned to make their own clothes when Home Ec. meant just that. Home Economics! Mama sewed beautifully and collected patterns for our clothes from McCall’s huge drawers located in the cloth shops she frequented. Betsy’s dresses were often found in the deep long drawers located under the cutting tables. So yesterday, Betsy was as real in my mind as she had once been in my hands.
Cooties. Do you remember the game Cooties? Doesn’t sound very nice, does it? But it was a game along with so many others, the card games we learned like Old Maid, War and Rook. I loved it when my older sister Holly would come down off her high horse long enough to play a game of Rook with her annoying little sister. It never lasted long, but I felt special while it was going on. We played Monopoly, of course. It was the lucky player who wound up with not only Boardwalk, but Park Place, too. Usually that indicated a winner, but not always! And the year I got my really nice Bingo set with the turning basket and genuine bake lyte bingo numbers, wow! I was forever trying to get a game of Bingo organized!
But Scrabble has forever and always been my favorite game. I introduced it to my boys as soon as they learned to spell. First it was Scrabble Junior, then they became such good spellers that we packed it away for the real deal. While some families get together to play poker, we crowd around a Scrabble board. Now, granddaughter Arianna is included in this fast paced game of words and meanings. Lee and I play online nearly everyday. It’s something I look forward to.
But of all my toys of the past, Betsy McCall stands out in memory and I can’t say why. I don’t know why. But I found her online last night and she’s about to become mine again. Of course, I’ll let Arianna play with her. I want her to have such a memory too.
— Sandi McBride is a resident of Jefferson, who blogs regularly and enjoys her garden and her furry and feathered friends. She is a wife and mother of two sons.