The Dolly Spy


Lana one time when she was a little girl, she must have been about the second grade. We always got catalogs and even then our kids loved the catalogs and they would look all the way through them. She spotted a doll in the catalog and it was a Betsy McCall doll. It was a really cute little doll probably about six to seven inches high. It had knees that bent, and arms, and legs that moved, and its head moved, and it had rooted hair, really pretty sleepy eyes.  She saved her money, and saved her money; she was always good at saving her money. When they started the first grade they got a nickel, and every year we would advance them a nickel; so she saved her money. She had enough money she could get this doll. I took her money, and said I would send for it, but I saved it for Christmas, and made all kinds of clothes for it. That was the first year we were here in Grand Junction (1960). Jim had to go to school in Oklahoma City.


I had displayed it and all the clothes at homemaking one time.  I had mounted it on a cardboard with the clothes all around it. When we were getting ready to go to Oklahoma City we were taking the kid’s toys because we were going to be down there for Christmas.  It was sitting on the bed and Linda was only three years old, and she come in when we were packing and she seen that doll on the bed. She just seen it for just a few minutes before I caught her and I hid it, but she was smart. I didn’t think she was that smart, but lo and behold she went and told Lana all about this doll that she was going to get for Christmas. She knew there was a slip and a little coat with fur on it, and a little night gown.  I knew she knew she was going to get it so I cut all the pieces left them on the cardboard, wrapped each one individually and hid it in the Christmas tree.  When Christmas come she would say: Oh, where is the slip?  Where is the coat? She giggled, where’s the hat?  Lo and behold Linda told her every night what was going to be with that doll. 

I saved and saved all my nickels and dimes at age six until I had enough money to buy this darling Betsy McCall doll and my mom sent in the order. I must have asked her weeks on end if my doll came in. We moved for a few months to Oklahoma City for my dad’s FAA school and I thought, “Oh No, I won’t get my doll.”

My side of the Christmas story

I was sleeping in a full size bed with my little three year old sister Linda.  I was anxiously talking about my doll wondering what happened to her. Linda said she had seen her with lots of doll clothes.  Every night I would ask her questions about the outfits. Wow, she described a new outfit every night as we were falling asleep. I do not know how she remembered so many outfits, but by the time Christmas came I do not think any of the articles of clothing was a surprise. I was thrilled and comforted my doll made it to Oklahoma. Each outfit was so meticulously made: pink glittery ballet tutu with tights, raincoat and hat, poodle skirt and white blouse, yellow floral dress, blue felt coat and cap with fur trim, lacey slip, pink flannel night gown (I had one just like it). I played with that doll for years, until finally one of her legs fell off.  When I got married the leg disappeared. Years later my mom gave me back Betsy sitting in a glass case. And my black vinyl doll suitcase with a doll face that the eyes and lips changed if you tilted the cover.

Wardrobe Wishes
My Artist Mother


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