Growing up I had a grandma who lived in California and being the daughter of educators, we had the summers off to travel. So every other summer we’d pack up the “family truckster” for a six week trek across the U.S. Remember the Ford Country Squire? Ours was beautiful back in the day, pale yellow with faux wood side panels and the coolest back hide away seats. No car seats required for ten year olds in the seventies. We’d hook on our Apache pop-top camper and drive. . . . And drive some more until we could see that unending stripe of bouganvilla that lined the highway right to grandma’s house.
Once we arrived and settled into our assigned spaces for the next three weeks or so, and had our first taste of still-warm from the field grapes grown by my Uncle Al, Grandma would reveal the gifts she’d squirreled away for us. The tiny little corner room that I claimed as my own during these visits was a treasure trove of stuff, (now I know where I get it, this squirreling away of stuff), and she would come out with amazing little things, many of which I still have, like those tiny little paper wedding favor flowers which became bouquets for Barbie and the most scrumptious piece of burgundy velvet which of course became her gown, soaps with our names embossed in gold letters on them, teeny little note books, those mini state license plates with our name on them.
Another time she brought out a box of these tiny dolls. There are 18 of them each about two inches tall and standing on a penny though the mermaid is perched atop a tiny seashell. I don’t remember where she said they came from. No penny is dated after 1954 and the little “award” they are pictured with reads “Doll Show Smallest Doll 1955”. The details are amazing. (Click to see them close up) There is a nurse, a nun, hula dancer, bride, Amish lady, Flamenco dancer, Indian girl and more.