While procrastinating over cleaning the kitchen floor, I went digging into some far corners of junk and found the business man figure above. He’s rather Don Draper, isn’t he? The bottom is stamped with the simple – but meaningful – word “Father.” Holding that tiny, white piece of plastic sent my memory hurtling back in time to the metal doll house he belonged to… he’s the sole survivor of my first humble abode.
Pushed along by the gentle fog of innocent memory, I was able to quickly find this picture. That’s me and the doll house on Christmas morning, 1969, in a tract house in Ferguson, MO. One of the white splotches next to my elbow is the very Father I hold today.
I didn’t really need the photo to remember that doll house in achingly precise detail. I can still feel the coolness of the metal floors on my arm as I moved the the plastic furniture about, and how easy it was to lose the toddler in the plastic nuclear family. Placing furniture in inappropriate rooms (toilet in the living room, bed in the kitchen!!!) was always good for a giggle, and Fisher-Price farm animals were conveniently sized to fit in and around the homestead.
With the wonder of the cyber world, I can share the details an ancient photo cannot provide. One site got me to the photo above, which is pretty close to the interior of the Marx Colonial model I had. My version did not have curtains on the living room picture window. Hard to overlook that at this very moment in time, my living room has green walls with no curtains on the picture window. Do we travel so far just to come back where we started?
Remove that dormer, and this is exactly what my doll house looked like from the front.
And here’s a wonderful shot of all the furniture pieces. This website also revealed that the house came in panels that had to be put together. I clearly remember it being one delicious whole on Christmas morning, so I guess my Father had to do some Christmas Eve construction.
So, I’ve spent a bit of time remembering the doll house and how much it meant. Doll houses hold a very strong allure and special meaning for little girls, even as they age. I’ve also been thinking about all the little boys who wished they could have gotten their hands on our doll houses without facing unceasing hours of ribbing. How many of them messed with the houses when no one was looking, and how many of them turned into architects and designers?
I don’t remember what happened to this doll house; it feels like it had a short shelf life, which would not have been of my choosing. Do any of you still have your doll houses? Or pictures of you with your doll house? I’d love to share your time travel doll house moments.