My Weird Life: E.T. Dolly!

When I was in sixth grade, our classes had to participate in an “assembly”…or rather, the school play. The theme was America from its birth to the current time,which would have been 1983. The time is important because E.T. : The Extra Terrestrial came into theatres the past year. I was rather afraid the first time I saw the movie and E.T.; later, I saw the movie again and truly embraced him. I asked for anything E.T. that my parents could find for Christmas. I received shoelaces, a windup figure, the E.T. Light-Up Finger, trading card packs,and the best present of all, an E.T. doll.

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This is not my actual toy–mine is packed away, because he is disintegrating. The fake leather material these toys are made from is a fabric covered in a leathery coating that cracks and falls away after a couple of decades in certain cases. My dolly was very much loved and cherished, so he got worn out much faster.

When my elementary peers and I were in this “America” school play, we all had to participate in the opening number, which was pretty spectacular for a bunch of grade school kids, if I do say so myself. To the tune of Neil Diamond’s “America”, we marched into the lunchroom(where our stage was) in an orderly procession to take our places on the risers beside the stage. We were all dressed as immigrants from countries all over the world, carrying packs and suitcases, and in some cases, babies. The teachers instructed some of us girls to carry baby dolls, wrapped up in shawls and blankets.

I didn’t own a baby doll; I couldn’t stand them. I had dozens of beloved stuffed toys, but no baby doll. Still, I wanted to participate in this for some reason. So I took the most babylike-proportioned toy I had, and swaddled him thusly:

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I proudly carried my “baby” in the school play and only one or two teachers knew his true identity.😄

 

More of my Old Stuff: The Giant Eraser!

In another box of junk I dug out of my mother’s basement, I found this long-lost gem:

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When I was in grade school in the 70’s and early 80’s, funky erasers were the big deal. They came in all shapes, sizes and colors and many doubled as toys; I had monsters and dinosaurs and dogs and safari animals, plus light bulbs,dice, cookies and hamburgers in my collection. But this one was the topper. I believe it was a Christmas stocking inclusion. There is a catalog called Walter Drake that,looking at it now, seems nowhere near as magical; to me it seems like the kind of catalog little old ladies order from, filled with stove burner covers and plastic garden fencing and fluffy toilet seat covers. However, as a kid, this catalog in its paper form was almost like a mini Sears Wish Book; see, it had about ten to fifteen pages in the middle of the catalog that were the 88-cent pages. Everything on those pages was 88 cents, and most of them were highly desirable things that kids would like; hence, those pages were perfect tools from which Grandmother could order my Christmas stocking goodies. She would usually tell me to pick out eight to ten items I liked(you had to order a minimum of 8 items to get them at 88 cents), and more often than not these wondrous items would show up at Christmas. Such items included a gorilla head pencil sharpener, a walking & sparking Godzilla-esque dinosaur windup, a plastic caterpillar pencil holder, a brown hound dog shaped more or less like a squirt gun that squeaked loudly when you pulled the trigger, a little Monchichi-like toy called Chibunkey, and a colored pencil with about 15 tiny interchangeable leads. It was glorious!
If I wanted a new giant eraser today it is easy to find one; they are still readily available,especially on Amazon. I am almost tempted to get one as my old giant eraser is now as hard as a brick. I think it might snap in half if I put any stress on it. What is so curious is how MUCH I doodled all over it. The front shows a bunch of teeny cartoon stick figures working to put up a sign reading “For BIG Mistakes”. An eyeball makes the dot of the “i”, and at the very far left, on the slanted end of the eraser, I drew a pair of headlights and a grille.

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The back is laden with various threats about stealing my stuff and punishments that will be dealt out. I had several very treasured items stolen from me in grade school, including a stuffed toy my grandmother had made for me that I had included as part of a school project(the thief was never caught). I suppose that’s what I get for bringing important items to school, but who knew a bunch of seventh graders in such a close, structured environment were fine with and  could get away with stealing so much stuff. I think I had a few friends sign my eraser too, writing various eighties sayings in handwriting that is not mine on the far right. Notice the two phone numbers–by then I was gabbing on the phone frequently with friends in the evening so my parents opted for getting a “children’s telephone” that you could actually look up in the phone book. 😀

Donruss Super-Freaks Baseball Cards!

More vintage treasures from our dig through our stuff at my mother’s house. These are the Super-Freaks Baseball Card stickers from Donruss, first series, 1973.The fronts peel off as a sticker, leaving the cardboard backs. As you can see, this was a serious part of my early monster education and I coveted these like mad. My brother let me have them, and I was planning to lovingly scan them in one by one, but right after I took these initial photos, I got the phone call that Steve had his car wreck and everything else got put on the back burner.

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