Saturday, December 6, 2014
Dolls, Boys, and Men who Collect: A Tribute
The worlds of dolls and doll history are more exciting than ever. At least three more panels at this years Midwest Modern Language Assoc. Convention will address them. Perhaps in these dangerous and fleeting times of violence and disposable technology, it is nice to have something created in our own images to hold on to. After all, who doesn't have a favorite statute? Photo? Portrait? Figurine or stuffed animal? Doll? Action Figure? Jack-in-the Box? All these are made in the human image, often to memorialize it. It struck me that little boys also have their dolls, and there are dolls like William's Doll of the Zolotow book made for them. Of course Andy has Woody in Toy Story, and there are bad little Kids like Syd in those movies who love to war with the other dolls and toys. I've known many little boys with their toy soldiers and G.I. Joes, and many with a a favorite bear, including mine with Pooh, Jelly Bean, Blizzard, and Meow Meow, members of the family, one and all. Men, of course collect dolls, and they are on my Facebook groups. Some are famous, others simply like history and art. Jim Fernando has been a legendary collector and I am proud to own some small dolls that belonged to him. My first doll book was by John Noble, and two of my favorite authors on dolls are Carl Fox and Max von Boehn. John Axe, my friend, one time editor, and penpal, will always live in my heart, as does my good friend, the distinguished writer on many subjects and doll historian, R. Lane Herron, frequent contributor to Doll Castle News, edited in part, by Mr. Barry Mueller. Mr. Keith Kaonis is instrumental in creating our own ADC. I owe my first Doll Reader article to Chris Revi, another distinguished figure in the doll world, and my successful auctions to Mr. Noel Barrett and Andy Ourant. A recent episode of my beloved Family Affair took Buffy and Mrs. Beasley to a doll hospital in New York, surely a tribute to Mr. Irving Chais, who ran The New York Doll Hospital till his death. There are of course, the many doll makers, Ravca, Jumeau, Bru, Sherman Smith, Schoenhut, the distributor Borgfeldt, my very special Armand Marseilles, Schmidt, Seymor Mann, Gautier, Kallus, Elliot Handler, Johny Gruelle, Lewis Sorensen, Joel Ellis, Darrow, Michtom, Fleishaker and Baum [Effanbee], Nick Alexander, the list is endless. So, long live our boys and their dolls. May they play long and happily!